The sale that was supposed to stop the nation, but was itself ground to a halt due to sheer demand, shows that planning and anticipating demand for online services is vital to a campaign’s successful execution. What can you learn from Click Frenzy’s failure and that of some of the participating retailers?
Campaigns can easily go viral within a matter or minutes or hours, particularly if what you have on offer has mass market appeal. With Christmas only around a month away from Click Frenzy’s campaign, plenty of people were in buying mode, hoping to score a bargain.
To their credit, they were collecting email addresses via their website from users who wanted to be notified and reminded about the sale. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts were actively collecting likes and followers.
For Click Frenzy and all participating retailers, as word of the forth-coming campaign spread amongst the media, website traffic statistics would have given an indication of public interest. Click Frenzy were anticipating one million people to walk through the “virtual doors” of their website within the 24 hours from launch and this is what they prepared for. It is not clear exactly how they determined this number. In reality though, they experienced 1.5 million to 2 million access requests within the opening moments and couldn’t ramp up fast enough to handle the traffic. Understandably this lead to massive melt-down and their website became unavailable. It is not clear what, if any contingency plan they had.
Suggestions on ways to prepare for a campaign and try to anticipate demand:
4mation can facilitate in planning and preparing for large campaigns, so please contact us to discuss further if you need professional advice and assistance.
Even the best laid plans cannot guarantee a smooth outcome, although they will help immensely. That said, have a backup plan to fall back on just in case.
For many visitors to the Click Frenzy website, they were greeted with connection time-outs. This was possibly the worst case scenario for Click Frenzy as a brand, as it made them look unprepared and amateurish.
Preparations and back-up options to fall back onto for times of high traffic include:
If you need any assistance in preparing for your own campaign, even if you do not anticipate demand being as high as that discussed here, drop us a line at your earliest convenience to ensure you make the most of the time available before launch.