12 Tips To Learn From 2016 April Fool’s Day [E-commerce] 12 Tips To Learn From 2016 April Fool’s Day [E-commerce]

We looked at this year April 1st campaigns and found some great things to share with the e-commerce community. Let’s see the jokes of online shops and learn something new thanks to each one of them!

Never plan updates, important news or features roll-out for April, 1st

Why? Because, first of all, the users could be confused, as it’s hard to understand whether it’s a joke. What is more, if the things go wrong, confusion could be the least unpleasant feeling your customers experience.

Etsy was unfortunate to catch a bug on April 1st, and the users got angry, because the bug didn’t let them either shop or serve the clients. The company hasn’t reported on this for several hours:

Etsy April Fool's

Think twice before using a brand name

A prank about H&M launching a collection inspired by Mark Zuckerberg was a success. As its creators stated, they got more than half a million website visits and 500+ publications in 24h. Many people believed that it was real, and many people believed that it was created by H&M, so now the page creators have removed any mentions of this brand (no info about whether the authors did it themselves or were asked to do this).

Make sure other brand mentions won’t be confusing:

Mark Zuckerberg

Give a hint it’s a joke

Well, you never know when people are going to believe you, especially if it’s an online campaign. People forget that it’s April 1st so often! If your April joke is what can actually be true and is not extremely absurd, make sure that you have a statement on your page/email/social media post.

Some people actually believed the previously mentioned H&M campaign is a true one, so there’s a note in the footer:


Here’s another example from social media. Bed, Bath & Beyond posted the first comment saying it’s a joke for everyone to see.

April Fools

Make sure the joke won’t hurt or insult anyone

This year Google prank went completely wrong: they added a ‘drop the mic’ button to the email interface. Clicking it sends your message and a mic-dropping Minion GIF to the recipient, and stops their replies appearing in your inbox.

The thing is, many people got into trouble by accidentally hitting this button or not knowing how it actually works. Whatever you do for April Fool’s, make sure it won’t cause any trouble to your customers. If you’re not sure, test the joke on your friends and colleagues and collect some feedback from them.

Drop the mic

If you fail (we hope you won’t), apologize

Google took actions for deleting the prank button rather fast and published their apologies. The team also explained where they went wrong and what they learned from this case. Although people got seriously hurt and the apologies won’t help them, still it’s a must step in any fail case.


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