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Millions of people around the world logged onto the site at 7.00am GMT to get themselves a bargain from popular designer Lanvin. However as 7.00am approached the site www.hm.com started to have some problems.
With millions of online visitors fighting their way through the herds of online traffic by 7.20am the site had entirely crashed and disappointed online shoppers were left angry and disappointed.
Whilst H&M left, a slightly smug, yet apologetic note explaining to customers that “we are popular” right now and continued to taunt online shoppers with images from the Lanvin collection.
Here come the bad reviews: cue Twitter #Lanvin
For the millions of people being told to wait they felt the need to kill a little time by voicing their opinion across social media. Before they knew it, #Lanvin was created, discussing H&M’s failure issues and bad customer service all throughout Twitter.
As time passed and a few people were lucky enough to get items, more and more people became frustrated and continued to further tweet only bad things about H&M. Issues such as how bad their site was, how bad their customer service was and why had they not prepared for this amount of traffic.
What H&M should have done:When H&M began to heavily promote the Lanvin collection through YouTube and their online site the obvious thing would have been to use a server that could handle such large amounts of traffic. However it is clear that even H&M could not estimate the levels of traffic they were about to receive.
So their next approach should have been to communicate with their audience through social media. Due to the amount of people tweeting already, the topic had already been created and was trending, the H&M marketing team simply had to appoint a team member to effectively communicate or simply update customers with:
• stock levels
• apologises/information for customers
• site updates
As a result of this H&M have instantly received a large record of bad customer reviews, which could have been avoided, before people have even purchased the Lanvin collection.
At 9.30am the H&M Twitter account had been untouched by any member of their marketing team, leaving customers even more angry at the situation.
The H&M United Kingdom Twitter account had been updated: "We are extremely busy on our online shop at the moment. We are doing our best to accommodate as many shoppers as possible", but this was the firm's extent of the communication with customers.
H&M’s example of bad customer communication can be used by all brands as an example of ‘what not to do’ when managing your brand online or launching a new product.