Black Friday Blunders


Its Friday 28th November 11am in the morning, I am drinking my first cup of coffee in my office and going through my emails for the day when I start to spot some really interesting ‘Black Friday’ offers hitting my inbox.  As an avid marketer I am always interested in what companies do to take advantage of this time of year and specifically this year, how the big brands are taking on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is of great interest to me.

So you can imagine my absolute horror as I click on my Argos Special Black Friday Offer –which says 1 day deals – while stocks last….

To be greeted with this page….


Shocking!  With the technology that we have today this can only be described as LAZY!  With the whole country gearing up to black Friday and with thousands of pounds spent on marketing, how can any company be looking to send tons of web traffic to a website which cannot take the capacity? It doesn’t make any sense. Whatever will they do on cyber Monday??

With a good strategy in place this would never happen.  A good targeted offer to a well set out landing page, on a server with enough capacity so that it can handle millions of visits at once, could be a potential solution. Perhaps these big businesses can learn something from the smaller enterprises, where every penny of marketing budget counts! 

For hours today shoppers were greeted with this message, how much money has this lost Argos? They weren’t the only ones though Curry’s, Tesco, PC World and Boots all suffered the same fate as shoppers all tried to access their black Friday shopping deals.

Curry’s even encouraged shoppers to get in a ‘cyber queue’ estimated to be a 30-60 minute wait!

You have to ask why this was allowed to happen. Was it not enough prior planning? Naivety? Or they just plain didn’t care? Whichever way you look at it, when your ecommerce website goes down on what is globally known as the biggest shopping day of the year – you definitely have some questions to ask of your IT team!

On the flip side what is this telling us about consumers?

It is fair to say that consumers love a bargain! Also more consumers are feeling confident about spending large amounts of money online.

Consumer confidence is increasing and this is really reassuring for online retailers. And despite the failure of these websites to cope with the increased surge in traffic, the majority of them experienced their best sales day of the year to date.

This almost certainly poses the thought that black Friday will be a permanent fixture in the UK going forward.  One can only hope that the lessons have been learned from this year, and that greater efforts are made in the years to come by retailers, to maximize the success of these consumer special offer days.
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Article by Leanne Mordue