Great Online Shopping Festival 2013, Excited or Indifferent?

Great Online Shopping Festival 2013 starts at midnight tonight, and over 200 Internet Retailers in India are participating in it. This is the second edition of the online event organised by Google India in collaboration with a number of online retailers.

It was a 24 hour long event last year boosting traffic for the 90+ participating websites by up to 300%, now the duration thrice as longer and there more than double companies involved, so is it actually going to be bigger or just 3 days of well-marketed discounts that are anyway often available all year round.

Let’s have a quick look at what is really happening.

GOSF 2012- What happened last year?

Google partnered with roughly 90 Indian eCommerce companies to launch the first edition of GOSF on 12/12/12. As mentioned above, it was a 24 hour long event offering different discounts and offers across the sites involved.

But already these websites have some or the other sale going on every year then why have a dedicated day/days for the same?

The question was answered to us by Nikhil Rungta, CBO, Yebhi, who was with Google at the time GOSF ‘12 and played a key role in its launch. He said that Internet retail ecosystem is gradually expanding, and it needs a catalyst to boost it. In order to get more people engaged in online shopping, the idea of GOSF came up to catch their attention.

The participating retailers say that they saw around 300% rise in their traffic on that particular day, and some even saw a 200% increase in sales as well.

Arun Sirdeshmukh, Co-founder and CEO, Fashionara said “GOSF 2012 was the first time such an event took place in India. It was successful in raising awareness about online shopping in the country. saw a significant traction in the last edition of GOSF. There was a 300-400% increase in traffic and lot of mobility on the site.”

Since cost of customer acquisition is high in India, this initiative helped in catching the attention of customers online, as all the companies pooled in their resources for a common objective.

20 million Indians shopped online: @Flipkart got 16.5m, @myntra got 16m, @amazon india 13.5m, @jabong 12.4 m unique visitors inSept #gosf

— Shilpa Kannan (@shilpakannan) December 9, 2013

On asking how GOSF turned out for the Internet retail store Cbazaar, its Co- Founder & CEO Rajesh Nahar, said “ GOSF 2012 helped us increase India revenues by around 40% compared to the previous month. We received almost 7.5K incremental unique visitors leading upto and during last year’s event. Overall, given our limited marketing budget in India, I would say this was a success since it allowed us access to Indian customers whom we might not have been to acquire otherwise.

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Why wasn’t it exactly ‘Great’?

Although GOSF 2012 generated a lot of hype, the 24 hour rush was not exactly its International counterpart ‘Cyber Monday’. The online community however expected much more, that was evident from the negative discussions that happened post event, particularly on Twitter

Many of the sites didn’t offer as much discount as they marketed, or had the usual deals being sold under the ‘GOSF’ brand name. Also, some sites continued the GOSF sale after the so called deadline. A lack of regulation was seen.

It is understandable that it was the first time such an event was being organised online so there are room for such errors. But with such big names involved, one would expect a uniformly high level of consumer satisfaction.

What’s so big this year?

Besides being spread out over a period of 3 days and more companies participating in it. The event’s tagline is ‘No matter who you are, there’s a deal for you’ and with the variety of sites offering deals through this, this could be possibly true.

The marketing for the event is going on offline as well, the image above was taken in Select Citywalk Mall, New Delhi, where three models were standing still like mannequins, holding tablets with open. This is a particularly innovative way to tap into offline consumer base offline as well, and ironic too.

And going a step ahead from last year, GOSF has Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif as its brand ambassadors. Their fans could view their hand-picked deals on the participating sites as well. Moreover, Google arranged a hangout session with Aamir Khan to further tap into the online consumer base.

Out of over 200 Mn Internet users, only about 5% actually make a purchase online. Such a prolonged event, might aid in increasing eCommerce penetration in India.

At #GOSF press event today. @RajanAnandan tells last year, 12/12/12 was single biggest online shopping day in India.

— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) December 9, 2013

What are the retailers saying?

Deepa Thomas, eCommerce Evangelist, eBay India

At eBay India, we constantly innovate and facilitate exciting shopping opportunities to encourage savvy Internet users to make their first online purchase. Participating in GOSF is one of the many initiatives that we take in this direction to encourage eCommerce trial. We also witnessed a significant jump in first time buyers on eBay India during the online shopping fest last year. This year, to give a wider choice to consumers, we are showcasing great deals on not just technology products, but also expanding offers  to lifestyle products.

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 Arun Sirdeshmukh, Co-founder and CEO Fashionara

We expect GOSF 2013 to continue to promote ecommerce and fetch even better traction for Fashionara. We intend to provide the best deals and attract a lot more first time shoppers to the site. With the festival being extended to three days this year, we expect increased traffic as compared to the last edition.

Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder

ShopClues is excited to be a part of this year’s edition of the Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF). Customers can avail of flat discounts to the tune of 25% on Fashion- which is one of our best-performing categories, flat 8% off on popular mobile phone brands and 10% discount on other hot-selling categories like electronics, cameras and appliances.Reports suggest that GOSF 2012 saw a 40-50% increase in traffic for participating sites and a sales grew multi-fold. We at ShopClues hopeGOSF will be even bigger and better this year!

Vikas Ahuja, Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra

The response from GOSF 2012 was very encouraging. witnessed many first time shoppers engaging in high value transactions and warming up to the idea of online shopping. We witnessed over 150% jump in sales during the 24 hour shopping festival and our average acquisition cost was lower by 30-40% compared to other days.We are really excited to be part of the second edition of GOSF and confident of a good response this year as well.

 Prashant Tandon, Founder & Managing Director, HealthKart

GOSF 2012 was a great success. We saw almost 3x sales compared to the average and more than 50% of the transacting customers were new customers.

Excited to participate in GOSF 2013.

Rajesh Nahar, Co-Founder & CEO, Cbazaar

We expect to receive a similar revenue increase as was seen last year, since inspite of increased marketing & awareness created for the event, we see a lot more players participating this time. Hence the increased traffic would be offset and split between more number of players. We are already seeing lower incremental footfalls than what we saw last year in the lead-up to the event.

Nikhil Rungta, CBO, Yebhi

Yebhi got a great response last year at GOSF, this year we are expecting it to be even bigger, 3X sales and double the traffic. The event will encourage more Internet users to buy online, thus giving a boost to the online retail ecosystem.


So the retailers are certainly looking forward for the 3 day rush, it is going to be exciting to see if the consumers are just as enthusiastic about the same.

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