Click Frenzy Apologises For Utterly Predictable Server Crash

Yeah, we told you this would happen. As soon as it launched at 7pm yesterday, the Click Frenzy 'Cyber Tuesday' sale site was entirely inaccessible or unusably slow for most people, a situation that persisted for hours in many cases. Combine that with a so-so selection of bargains and it seems clear that while we're all interested in hunting down a good deal, attempting to corral them all in one place didn't help anyone much.

With the site itself proving unable to cope, Click Frenzy temporarily took to posting details of bargains directly on its Twitter and Facebook pages, complete with links straight to those retailers. That underscored the point that companies which decided to jump on the bandwagon with copycat sales, by buying out related keywords on Google (hello, Harvey Norman) or who leaked their deals well ahead of time, were in a position to do much better than those who relied on Click Frenzy itself to deliver buyers.

Click Frenzy used Facebook to post an apology for the problems, though it was a little difficult to spot between the frenzied spruiking and the constant complaints from annoyed customers:

The technical directors, developers and infrastructure specialists involved in this inaugural event are working to get to the root of what occurred with the wave of traffic at 7pm. I am not in a position to describe exactly what has occurred yet as the teams involved are working on the solution first to resolve any problems. We will provide answers as soon as they are available.

We'll tell the team what happened: you got swamped. Despite that apology, the FAQ for Click Frenzy still features this claim at the time of writing:

WILL YOUR SERVERS CRASH? We sure hope not! We know there will be enormous volumes of visitors during Click Frenzy, particularly during the early part of the event, but we have taken every precaution to ensure our servers will not go down, and we have advised our retailers of the traffic volumes they should expect.

Oh dear. Undoubtedly some people will have scored good deals, and other retailers are reporting a surge of traffic to their sites. But it hardly seems to have set up the basis for an annual event, or a global Click Frenzy franchise.

The main lesson for retailers is this: while Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales around Thanksgiving are a phenomenon in the US, they didn't get that way because one operator tried to become the gateway to all the deals. No-one gets to own those occasions, just as no-one owns Christmas catalogues or Boxing Day sales or mid-year toy sales. And for consumers, the lesson is the obvious truth we've been pointing out all along: if you want to score a real bargain, you need to shop around, not just blindly sign up to the first available offer just because it's only available for 24 hours.


Comments

    I you read the earlier post everything was fine thousands were shopping on there bahahahaha.
    Secondly they offered to update what was going on 12hrs later still no updates from them on facebook.

    "The main lesson for retailers is this: while Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales around Thanksgiving are a phenomenon in the US, they didn’t get that way because one operator tried to become the gateway to all the deals. No-one gets to own those occasions, just as no-one owns Christmas catalogues or Boxing Day sales"

    +1. As I said to someone last night, shopping portals are so 90's. They assume people need someone to tell them where to find places to shop on the Internet, which people who can use a search engine or social networking obviously do not. Plus, they drive up pricing at the shops they represent, because those shops have paid some sort of promotional fee to the portal.

    A clothing store I'm a member of was part of the sale. I went directly to their site after receiving an email in the afternoon, easy. Wasn't the best deal, but combined with free postage, it was hard to pass up.

    I also knew this was going to happen. *facepalm*
    Furthermore, the range of products offered was pretty small and the specials weren't anything to write home about.

    what little discounts i saw were little discounts.. bit of a fail really. perhaps the NBN will fix this?

      It seems like a perfect case for amazon's new australian data centre. Heavy usage for 24 hours a year? Scale up your resource usage and drop it back down afterwards. They'd save money and amazon would get a great piece of advertising.

    At the end of the day, there is more to be had in their ongoing sales throughout the year for the majority of the retailers... the small amount of token sale items they did put up is not different to what they normally do on an almost daily basis. There doesn't seem to have been a lot of thought put into the actual point of the sale..

    This result is just going to cause more people than before to shop online from grey importers and overseas retailers. Before this event, a lot of people that were "clicking" weren't really into the whole online shopping thing.. now they are aware (at least more aware) of the bargains to be had online..

    This event totally backfired on so many levels and it's going to hurt the entire market more than if they had just get plodding along getting their online sites up to date and rethinking the way they do business.

    While it was a bit of a disappointment, it is good to see many retailers get in on the action. If anything, it hopefully shows to retailers that Australian consumers are interested and will throw money at retailers if they did some decent sales.
    +1 for Idea
    -1 for execution

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