Online sales galore for Click Monday

A last-minute surge of interest has taken the number of retailers participating in today's "Click Monday" online sale to more than 80.

Dick Smith, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Pumpkin Patch are the latest to agree to offer discounts to online shoppers during the 24-hour pre-Christmas sale, which starts at 7pm.

The promotion is the first attempt in New Zealand to emulate a popular event in the United States which is known as "Cyber Monday" and which has also now spread to Australia and China.

The Click Monday website will advertise the deals on offer from participating retailers, which also include Ezibuy, Hallensteins, MightyApe, Fishpond, Countdown, Pascoes, Bendon, Icebreaker, Macpac and Toyworld.

Shoppers can then click through to the retailers' own websites to make any purchases.

Click Monday has been organised by Auckland e-commerce consultant Cate Bryant and Alain Russell, owner of website developer Blackpepper Interactive. Bryant is in the throes of establishing a new industry association for businesses involved in online retailing, Ecommerce New Zealand.

"Click Monday gives the online industry the chance to work together to grow the size of the overall e-commerce pie in New Zealand," Bryant said.

"Tens of thousands" of shoppers had signed up to get emails outlining the best deals and access to the 12,000 individual discounts an hour early at 6pm, she said.

Toyworld general manager Franco Godinich said it would be offering its deals in store as well as online during the promotion. "Our new e-commerce site launched earlier this year and Click Monday is a brilliant opportunity to help build customer awareness," he said.

Australia's equivalent "Click Frenzy" promotion was held on Wednesday. The event was decried as a bit of a letdown last year after its website failed under the weight of traffic. Some shoppers also complained that many of the offers from retailers were "so-so".

However, there was no repeat of the technology problems this year.

Independent data from technology giant IBM showed the online sales of participating retailers were up 16.3 per cent on last year's inaugural event, which was credited with generating extra sales of at least A$10 million.

This year, Australian online fashion retailer The Iconic recorded its biggest ever sales day and its first "million dollar day", managing director Adam Jacobs said. A Myer spokeswoman said the department store had also experienced strong sales during the 24-hour promotion, resulting in its recorded its "second-biggest online sales day".