E-tail slows in May, Click Frenzy credited with April's boost

E-tail slows in May, Click Frenzy credited with April's boost
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Online retail spending slowed in May, following a big boost in April from a Mother’s Day sale event by Click Frenzy, which was once branded ‘Click Fail’.

Online sales in May hit the brakes, falling to 18% year-on-year compared to the 24% jump in the year to April 2013, according to National Australia Bank’s (NAB) retail sales index.

Click Frenzy’s Mother’s Day sale event was credited with delivering e-retail's large boost in April by NAB Group chief economist Alan Oster.

“While growth for online sales was a little softer in May, this may in part reflect a boost to sales in April, related to the Mother’s Day ‘Click Frenzy’ promotion on April 23, which generated a strong sales lift for a number of participating brands,” Oster said.

“Despite an easing in the growth rate, it remains stronger than the comparatively soft trends across February and March 2013.”

The mention is a success for Click Frenzy which was quickly labelled ‘Click Fail’ late last year when its first sales event failed to take off. Hordes of deal-hungry shoppers were unable to access the site and the websites of a number of participating retailers after the surge in traffic caused sites to crash.

Click Frenzy co-founder Grant Arnott today told B&T it is pleasing to see Click Frenzy act as a boost for Australian retail.

“Its massively exciting to see that click frenzy is not only taking a hold but having an impact on the retail calendar and so we are certainly pleased that it is doing its job,” Arnott said.

On April 23, Click Frenzy’s Mother’s Day outing served nine million queries in the first five minutes of going live and 36.6 million in the first hour from 7 to 8pm. Click Frenzy recently held an end of financial year event which may deliever another high result for e-tail in June.

“We certainly had our initial difficulties. At the end of the day the site was down for three critical hours that earned all the noise,” Arnott said about last November’s sale.

“But what it did as a booster of online sales was exactly what we set out to achieve. The November event was, to our understanding, the biggest online sales day of the year according to several sources including the NAB.

“That was exactly what we wanted to do and do this November – take it one better.”

Fusion Strategy’s principal Steve Allen said e-tail's monthly growth is becoming more “erratic”.

“Though never less than seven-to-ten times the growth rate of bricks and mortar,” he said.

“No trend evident, though the recent erratic nature unquestionable points to a slowing, although still 20+%, but down over one point of average growth, off about 5%.”

In the 12 months to May this year Australians spent $13.7bn with online retailers, representing 6.1% of traditional bricks and mortar retail sales, according to NAB.

Source: NAB

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