Frenzy crash prompts web reinforcements
Market watch top headlines
SYDNEY, Nov 21 AAP
November 21 2012, 5:05PM
Customers are threatening to abandon online shopping in the wake of the Click Frenzy debacle, prompting retailers to bolster their websites to avoid more embarrassing meltdowns.
The Click Frenzy 24-hour "flash sale" website crashed on Tuesday night as shoppers attempted to log on and bag a bargain.
It elicited a hasty apology from founder Grant Arnott, who said the clickfrenzy.com.au site buckled under the load of "millions of queries".
"We deeply apologise for the frustration our customers have experienced," Mr Arnott wrote on his Power Retail website.
Despite the technical gremlins, flagship retailer Myer said Click Frenzy helped generate record sales.
And the company promised to boost its own website capacity in the run-up to Christmas.
"We were very pleased with the customer traffic through to our online site during the Click Frenzy event," a Myer spokesman told AAP.
Rival store David Jones didn't take part in the promotion, but ran its own instore and online sales.
Its website also crashed, prompting chief executive Paul Zahra to promise reinforcements.
"It's fixable. We know what we need to do and we are working both locally and internationally to get that fixed as quickly as possible," Mr Zahra told reporters on Wednesday.
The changes may come too late for some customers, with a number already vowing to abandon online shopping altogether.
"It's too stressful trying to compete with all the other customers, especially when it involves a website which barely works," Click Frenzy customer Sarah Burton wrote on Facebook.
Another added: "Never again, I'm going to do all my shopping in the shops from now on."
Retail expert Sue Say, from consultants Urbis, said the Click Frenzy experience will put some people off online shopping.
But Ms Say insisted the event demonstrated that plenty of Australians are willing to splash the cash online.
"As with just about everything in life, it comes down to execution," she told AAP.
"And the execution was obviously poor.
"People need to be careful of the once-bitten twice shy phenomenon particularly for those who may not have participated in online sale sites before."
The Click Frenzy sale was due to close at 7pm (AEDT) on Wednesday.
Several retailers who took part in the promotion, including Bonds, announced they were extending their sales because of the website crash.
By Miles Godfrey and Jordan Chong