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McDonald's SG faces netizen wrath as site crashes due to traffic spike for loungewear

McDonald's SG faces netizen wrath as site crashes due to traffic spike for loungewear

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Due to an overwhelming amount of traffic for its newly launched loungewear set, the McDonald's Singapore site and app crashed on eager fans yesterday evening.

The limited-edition loungewear collection was launched as part of its inaugural McDelivery Night In, yesterday at 6pm. However, according to netizens' comments on Facebook, the site and app was not accessible as early as two minutes past the official launch. Close to 7pm, which is an hour after the limited-edition merchandise dropped, McDonald's Singapore posted on Facebook that it was experiencing high traffic to its McDelivery website and app, and was working to get it back up.

About two hours after, McDonald's issued an apology through another Facebook post as several were still unable to place orders. "We seek your support to refrain from accessing the platforms while we work on getting it back up as soon as possible - and will update all when completed. Thanks very much for your kind understanding," the post read.

Since then, there have been no updates from McDonald's on its social media platforms.

Netizens were enraged as majority slammed the fast food giant for not "anticipating the overwhelming response" and for not "hav[ing] a contingency plan" when planning such a marketing move. One netizen in particular demanded that McDonald's should issue a statement and have a recourse action, as it could not deliver the promotion despite publicity around the loungewear.

Expressing their frustration and disappointment, netizens also raised an issue over some customers ordering via hotline while the terms and conditions for the merchandise was exclusively for app and/or online platform only.

In addition, those who managed to place their orders were met with a wave of disappointment as the loungewear sets were sold out. Some of the other issues with the site and app were the inability to enter a Singapore postal code. Screenshots pasted on Facebook showed that the site/app did not recognise the postal code while others received a message that the area did not have a delivery service.

In a statement to Marketing, a McDonald's spokesperson said its web and app platforms are back up and running, while the loungewear collection is temporarily unavailable. "We sincerely apologise to all our customers who were unable to make their purchase during launch," the spokesperson added.

In light of the keen interest from consumers, McDonald's Singapore will be fulfilling orders via a dedicated pre-order site that will be up on 11 October, Friday in the afternoon.

A quick check by Marketing also saw McDonald's loungewear are now currently selling on Carousell as high as SG$150 for both sets, while the original price of the item was SG$24.90 along with the 'Happy Sharing' meal.

When asked McDonald's previously about the issue around merchandise reselling, a spokesperson told Marketing: “As our intention is for the McDelivery Night In Loungewear Collection to be enjoyed by as many customers as possible, we do not encourage customers to purchase the merchandise for resale.”

Having a website crash due to increase in demand is not unheard of, and industry players Marketing spoke to previously said, brands must be ready with scalable IT infrastructure for situations where they know there will be an increase in traffic.

According to Steven Yap, head of digital, Kingdom Digital, while no brand/service provider can ever predict the extent of how overwhelming the traffic or responses might be, there are definitely measures that can be put in place beforehand to minimise the chances of such incident from happening.

He added that:

A common practice to avoid website overload is creating a waiting room or virtual queue to stagger the traffic.

Meanwhile, FALCON's co-founder Max-F. Scheichenost explained that having a cloud-based (flexible) server set up can also help easily manage short-term, high volume traffic.

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