Firstly I want to say how disappointed I was in Click Frenzy. From a person who knows what it takes for a site to crash and knows that with the amount of money Click Frenzy were making off this – it shouldn’t have crashed. The simply just didn’t allow for the rate expected and needed the traffic to be shared across mutli platform.
This then pushes into the retailers sites that crashed as well. They didn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle the traffic. Any smart web company would know that they need to have different data servers so that when one reaches capacity it just flows over into another and another rather than just having the main one that keeps getting clogged.
Click Frenzy co-founder Grant Arnott has since apoligised to consumers who are missing out on the heavily-discounted deals.
“Firstly, I would like to issue an apology to anyone who has been inconvenienced and frustrated by the technical issues relating to the inaugural Click Frenzy 24 hour online sale,” he said.
“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.”
Other sites mentioned:
IT was supposed to be “the sale that stopped the nation”. Instead, it was the sale that crashed the internet.
National sales event Click Frenzy opened for business at 7pm AEDST and its host website crashed moments after it began.
The failure to launch denied registered shoppers details of the discounts on offer, forcing them to visit the websites of participating retailers.
But organisers told shoppers they were “far from embarrassed” by the breakdown and shoppers should have expected large crowds.
“Just like the Boxing Day sales, crowds are to be expected. For those experiencing difficulty, we recommend you check back in later when the storm has calmed enough for you to break through on your end,” the Facebook statement read.
But the organiser’s website wasn’t the only page to fall victim to Click Frenzy’s overwhelming popularity.
Many websites from participating retailers were unreachable before or shortly after the sale opened, crushed by the number of requests.
Priceline’s website became unavailable minutes before the event began, and Myer’s website was showing an “Error 503” message instead of discounted goods within the opening 10 minutes of the event. It was unavailable for more than an hour.
Other Click Frenzy victims included major electronics retailer Bing Lee.
Even online retailers failed to survive the shopping stampede. Kogan.com.au fell victim to a “bad gateway” due to too many visitors, the Recreate Yourself website disappeared, and Mwave.com.au, which promised technology bargains, also failed to load.
Some websites barely survived the visitor onslaught. A bare-bones version of Dick Smith’s website loaded to early visitors willing to wait for it, only to recover later.
Some withstood the shopping rush, however, including Sportscraft, Target, Ted’s Cameras, Westfield and Toys `R Us.
Click Frenzy discounts were not apparent on every participating website, however, and some required codes to be entered as shoppers checked out of sites, which were not readily available.
Warnings of increased traffic had sounded out well ahead of Click Frenzy’s 7pm AEDST kick-off.
Department store chain David Jones hosted a copycat event, dubbed Christmas Frenzy, that crashed its website earlier in the day.
Click Frenzy also began trending on Twitter throughout Australia late today, though many tweets were not positive as websites began to crash.
Facebook also saw the formation of groups including Click Frenzy Fail that attracted more than 1900 `likes’ with its title of “The fail that stops a nation”.
You can read more at: NEWS.COM.AU
Lesson to be learned for Australian online retailers
- Ensure your servers can handle massive increases in traffic if you have a flash sale. If they can’t, be prepared for a customer backlash and lost sales.
- If your competitors are having a flash sale, ensure your servers can handle flow-over traffic to your website, should that happen.
- If your store/website is covered on television (think Today Tonight and A Current Affair), see point 1.
- If you think you will get large traffic spikes, consider using a Content Distribution Network (CDN) – a cloud-based automatic scaling service such as Amazon or Akamai (but do your research first to optimise for your geographic region!).
- Ensure that the discount you are offering is significant-enough. If your aim is to get people shopping in your online or bricks-and-mortar store, you need to have a good-enough offering to make Australian consumers shop with you and not overseas stores. A couple of really great sales, coupled with a great user-experience can make for a loyal customer who returns to your store and tells their friends!