This year has seen the [CyberMonday] concept reach New Zealand. Several times over. Three different organisations are having a go at creating a Cyber Monday-like event, and there’s even rumour of a fourth.
The first was held [at the beginning of November] by Nzsale, an Australian-owned member-only online shopping club. Held a good three weeks prior to Thanksgiving weekend, Nzsale staged a “Flash Frenzy“, and billed it optimistically as the biggest online event ever.
The next event to be announced [went] live on 12 November … “Click Madness” is backed by The Warehouse Group and involves special deals from The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery, and ilovebeauty.co.nz.
The event closest to actual Thanksgiving in the United States is “Click Monday“, being run by Auckland ecommerce consultant Cate Bryant and Alain Russel of Blackpepper fame.
Click Monday has successfully involved a swathe of big names in the event including Bendon, Icebreaker, Briscoes and Hallensteins. It goes live for 24 hours, starting at 7pm on November 25.
The reason for this flood of Kiwi CyberMonday lookalikes can be summed up in one word: ClickFrenzy. This Australian online shopping event, launched with a bang in 2012, attracted a whole lot of headlines across the ditch last year, not always for the right reasons (the ClickFrenzy website, was down for several hours because of unprecedented traffic volumes, with reportedly 5% of the Australian population, some 2 million users, landing on the Click Frenzy site in the first few minutes):
- Click Frenzy crashes under strain
- Click Frenzy branded an ‘epic fail’
- Australia’s Click Frenzy is a big #ClickFail
- Retailers spend $1 million on ads for site but questions already flying
Perhaps the most serious consumer complaint was simply that the deals on offer didn’t live up to the hype:
- Following the launch of Click Frenzy, consumers immediately began comparing the ‘deals’ to local and international offers, highlighting the lack of value from some of the ClickFrenzy offers via Facebook. One example is Jamie Olivers 15-minute meals book, on sale for $26.95 via the Click Frenzy site. Customers were quick to respond calling out that the same book is available for less elsewhere (~$15 from the UK and under $25 at BigW and K-mart at a non-sale price). [PWC Digital Pulse]
Despite the negativity, Click Frenzy was repeated in Australia this year (last week), with rather more impressive results reported, including:
- Online fashion retailer The Iconic smashed previous sales records achieving its first $1m dollar day and doubling sales from last year. It counted more than 200,000 visits during the 24-hour flash sale. (AdNews)
- [IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data] showed retail sales were up 16.3 per cent throughout Click Frenzy, which ran for 24 hours from 7pm, Tuesday 19 November 2013, compared to the same period last year. This is despite the fact preliminary figures of 1,061,000 visitors were slightly short of last year’s 1.6 million. (Retailbiz)
- Traffic spikes during the 24 hour shopathon occurred around 9:30pm and 11:30am as people piled in after dinner, and again during mid-morning breaks. And they were looking for bargains: The average basket spend was down 4% from last year at $131.13. (AdNews)
By all accounts, one of the biggest problems with this year’s ClickFrenzy event was Ambush Marketing, with non-participating retailers attempting to climb on the bandwagon without paying for the privilege:
- Dick Smith gatecrashes the online sale with Deal Frenzy, JB HiFi has Early Bird Xmas Frenzy, while Kogan is just always in a frenzy. (Channel News)
- Kogan.com.au has been issued with a cease-and-desist letter after it hosted a Click Frenzy sale despite not being part of the official event. (Smart Company)
We’re already seeing similar ambushing in New Zealand. For example, even though the Warehouse Group‘s Click Madness event is officially over, there are still deals to be had when one searches for Click Monday:
Similarly, PBTech is serving up CyberMonday Sale advertising to accompany stories about online shopping, with its event starting one hour earlier:
Australian commentator Myles Harris offered up these key learnings from last year’s Click Frenzy:
- That many Australian E-Tailers are under resourced and did not comprehend the amount of traffic a good deal online can bring.
- That many Australian retailers view online as an avenue of selling surplus stock. There were a lot of complaints last night that selection was limited and that the store treated it as a dumping ground.
- Many Australian retailers are not on the ball with online communication streams. Many who were part of Click Frenzy were not active on their Facebook pages or on twitter. Customers certainly loved those who were and directed them to the correct site without having to go through the Click Frenzy site.
- That if the price is right the people will come. For far too long retail and some Aussie e-tail have not offered any incentive to buy online price wise. The deals are often not good enough or it’s the same price that is in the bricks and mortar stores. While this is an understandable tactic, it certainly does not attract the majority of online shoppers who shop on a global level.
As Click Monday prepares to launch in New Zealand, we wish the organisers well and trust that they and their participating retailers have learned these key lessons from our trans-Tasman neighbours.