Today could have been a cracking opportunity for so many large eTailers. However, throughout the morning I have encountered problems trying to find the TouchPad in the major electronics eComm sites. Problems of stock availability for a device which is no longer being produced I can understand, but what must be more concerning for a few the medium/large players, is that there entire eComm sites have been quite unresponsive, or in some cases totally unavailable.
[Update: one friend who was able to complete a purchase called the eTailer the day after the delivery was expected, to be advised that they had no record of his order, and that they were not expecting any more in stock]
Even for those with limited or no stock available, today would have been a great opportunity to create a relevant landing page, and use this particularly focused visitor segment to at least try to generate some buzz or interest in other products. I appreciate the challenges in having the technical and creative teams, and workflows which can enable companies to take advantage of such rapidly changing realtime consumer interest spikes – but considering the revenue and lead gen opportunities such a surge can provide, I think it worth exploring and investing in.
Also with the availability of ever lower entries to elastic-computing through Amazon Web Services (et. al.), I hope that more scalable and robust services are being considered by the small to medium sized enterprises too.
Some of the interest in the WebOS tablet will have come from people who have been following the tablet story closely, but from my own experiences there has been a considerable level of interested communicated through Twitter, Facebook and Google+ …. and while the scale of HP’s recent announcements are unlikely to be the norm – the social mechanisms by which such a purchasing-meme spreads, surely will be more commonplace. (I wonder if anyone at HP considered a Groupon event to sell off a stack of the TouchPads)
I hope that the stress levels have not been too high in some of the large eTailer’s IT departments, but even more I hope that teams will now be discussing how to architect themselves both technically and organisationally to get through such massive real-time unpredictable customer demands on their eComm sites, and to develop their technical and creative teams in such a way as to increase the odds of them benefiting from the next tidal wave of interest when it hits.