Does this message look familiar to you?
Traditionally, Boxing Day is the biggest shopping day in Canada. It’s comparable to the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.
As I was reading the paper before work yesterday morning, I couldn’t help noticing the big sale flyers from sibling big box electronic stores announcing they were jumping the gun and starting their Boxing Day sales online at 8 p.m. that night.
I expected their websites would be busy and perhaps a bit slow. I also expected them to be prepared for heavy traffic since they put so much effort into promoting their online early-bird sale. I was wrong. When I logged on, I got the message above instead. I couldn’t even access either website until after 11 p.m. I had better luck getting what I wanted shopping in person last year.
I woke up this morning, logged on to Twitter and learned I wasn’t the only one annoyed last night. Mitch Joel sums it up beautifully in How The e-commerce Grinch Store Christmas - A Holiday Season Marketing Disaster.
I imagine the company in question will think twice about jumping the gun next Boxing Day unless they’ve ensured their websites are adequately equipped to deal with customer demand.
I hope other stores take note too, including the one that sent me an e-mail today announcing their online Boxing Day sale had begun. The tag line in their title bar states they are Canada’s #1 brand. Let’s hope they stay true to their word.