December 13, 2011, 1:17 PM

Bonobos digs out from a Cyber Monday crash with a holiday Twitter contest

The men’s apparel retailer will give Twitter followers clues and awards of up to $120.

Lead Photo

CEO Andy Dunn

Men’s apparel retailer Bonobos Inc. is wasting no time getting back to its crazy marketing maneuvers, as it today launches a holiday trivia contest on Twitter. The contest comes only a few days after the e-retailer completed fixing technical glitches that have made pages on Bonobos.com load slowly or not at all since the Monday following Thanksgiving, commonly called Cyber Monday.

Each day this week, Bonobos will tweet clues that will help followers guess a promo code, which they can then use to get a  discount on orders on Bonobos.com. Today, consumers with the correct answer will garner $10 off a $50 purchase. The e-retailer says clues will get harder and the markdowns will increase each day until Saturday, when it will award a $120 credit toward a $200 purchase. Today’s clue is, “You'll have the LAST WORD when you tweet our gift guide.”

The discounts are not an apology to shoppers for site problems the e-retailer has experienced since Cyber Monday, says vice president of marketing Richard Mumby. The contest has been planned for awhile and was scheduled to run last week, but he says Bonobos wanted to wait until it was sure its site was stable enough to handle traffic spikes generated by the contest.

Bonobos aims to build upon the success it had from a similar campaign it ran last Easter when it hid Easter eggs on different areas of the site each day for a week. Shoppers had to click through multiple product and category pages to find them and those who did received discounts similar to those featured in the current Twitter contest. “Our customers really like the playfulness of our marketing,” Mumby says. “During Easter, we had our highest number of page views we had ever seen.”

Bonobos, No. 789 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, had forecast a large increase in traffic for Cyber Monday, but the number of consumers who visited the site that day blew the forecast out of the water, Mumby says. The e-retailer would not disclose exact traffic figures and says  the site crash brought down its analytics capabilities as well. “We had projections of how much traffic we were going to get and we exceeded our highest projections by degrees of magnitude,” he says. “By noon, we had well exceeded our highest traffic day ever.”

In the wake of the crash, Bonobos extended its Cyber Monday deals until yesterday and CEO Andy Dunn sent an apology letter to shoppers alerting them that the retailer was building its team and site infrastructure to ensure what it called its “epic fail” would not occur again. As Bonobos re-launched its site in phases over the last two weeks, its customer service reps, or “ninjas,” as Bonobos calls them, spent much of their time remedying customer complaints.

“Our biggest priority last week was to ensure that our customers were able to get the Cyber Monday deals they were promised,” Mumby says. “Now we are really fired up in engaging our customers in something fun again.”

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