With the website holding up under pressure, this year’s Click Frenzy event is already being hailed a success by retailers witnessing record-breaking results.
Australia’s first national online sales event, Click Frenzy has come off relatively glitch-free this year, with over 500,000 unique visitors recorded at the halfway mark of the 24 hour sale.
The highly anticipated event website is best known for a period of downtime soon after its inaugural launch last year, remaining offline for three hours as millions of shoppers from around the country attempted to access the site. This year, no such downtime has occurred, and many retailers are already hailing it a record-breaking event.
Pureplay fashion retailer and Click Frenzy participant, The Iconic has announced its first million dollar day of sales, with twice as many orders taken this year compared with last year’s Click Frenzy event. The Iconic website has recorded over 200,000 visits since the beginning of the event at 7pm Tuesday night.
“We have seen an unprecedented level of sales over the past 24 hours with purchases spanning our entire range,” said Adam Jacobs, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Iconic. “The website has performed seamlessly, showcasing the reliability and sustainability of our platform, and our incredible warehouse team dispatched over 97 percent of orders in time despite the huge surge. It’s been a real testament to the work we have put in over the last six months making sure that our operation is prepared for sustained growth.”
Click Frenzy organisers are pleased with the activity and functionality of the site, having moved the events hosting to AWS following the #ClickFail controversy last year.
“We are ecstatic with the results from last night and set for a massive second half today as it’s far from over,” Managing Director, Grant Arnott said. “There were plenty of smiling faces in the office after a smooth start. At the same point last year, I wanted to crawl into a hole.”
Click Frenzy Wrap Stats
Independent data from IBM has calculated overall sales made on participating retailer websites has increased 16.3 percent from last year’s event, while the average order value is down four percent on last year, at $131.13.
Additional analysis from IBM found mobile traffic has increased by 24.5 percent on 2012, with 17.7 percent of all transactions being made on smartphones or tablets.
Overall participation from Australia’s consumers also seems to be down on last year’s figures, however the marked increase in purchases may have accounted for any difference.
“The preliminary figure of 1,061,000 visitors is short of last year’s total volume of almost 1.6 million, but the behaviour was decidedly different – this audience was there to shop,” Arnott said.
While the Click Frenzy website appears to have withstood this year’s barrage of holiday shoppers, the same can’t be said of all the participating retailers, with results varying greatly across the board.
Locally-based managed services provider, Melbourne IT has been monitoring Click Frenzy’s participants via its Synthetic Benchmarking Tool, which constantly monitors over 1,600 Australian websites.
“So far, the best performing websites are those using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which is a sign that these companies are investing in the performance of their web platform,” says James Rabey, Director of Product and Marketing at Melbourne IT.
Among the top performing sites, according to Melbourne IT, two were in the hospitality sector and recorded average page load speeds of 664 milliseconds and 887 milliseconds throughout the early stages of the event. Both companies are using Akamai’s Dynamic Site Acceleration, with the fastest single load speed of 350 milliseconds – roughly the duration of a human eye blink.
Unfortunately, not every site was running this quickly.
“Of the poorly performing websites we have analysed so far, a common trend was a significant increase in page load time shortly after the sale commenced at 7pm,” says Rabey. “The data has shown these slow page load times continued for at least three hours after launch.”
One such under performer was a website in the health and beauty sector, with an average page load time of over six seconds. It’s peak page load time was in fact over 39 seconds – a sure thing to reduce conversion rates.
“Considering that 57 percent of online shoppers will abandon a website after three seconds, this year’s participants will have to ensure that their performance is up to the threshold of acceptability to avoid losing valuable revenue to their competitors.”
Technology and IT infrastructure has been markedly better handled for this year’s event, it hasn’t gone without some controversy, as a public media slanging match has arisen between Click Frenzy and Ruslan Kogan. Click Frenzy is partly owned by Grant Arnott, who also owns the Power Retail website.
It has been reported that Click Frenzy organisers sent Kogan CEO, Ruslan Kogan a cease-and-desist letter re: an infringement on the registered trademark Click Frenzy. Note for clarity the alleged infringement is for the full use of the term Click Frenzy, not the word frenzy.
Kogan modified some content on his site to read Kogan Frenzy, but continues to use the term ‘click frenzy’ in the URL and in source code on the site, including open graph titles and meta descriptions. It also sparked a public statement from Kogan to the media.
“Click Frenzy’s attempt to own the concept of an Online Sales Day would be the same as Harvey Norman trying to own the concept of a Boxing Day Sale. These sales events should happen organically with retailers responding to consumers’ needs,” the outspoken entrepreneur said in a press release.
While his argument doesn’t seem to directly address the issue of IP infringements, Click Frenzy has nevertheless followed up Kogan’s statements with a release of their own.
“Kogan has every right to have an opinion on Click Frenzy, however hypocritical that may be. Kogan was a very interested party when Click Frenzy was announced in 2012, making multiple enquiries about participating in the inaugural event as a paid advertiser,” Arnott said. “There were no issues raised about the model then, with Kogan sending an email to us stating ‘We would like to be part of it. What do we need to do in order to make that happen?'”