Great Online Shopping Festival 2013: the good, the bad and the not so ugly

GOSF 2013 is finally over and the bright GOSF banners across websites are gone. The 4 day online shopping festival created a buzz on different websites in India. Originally meant to be 3 days long, the event was extended due to the overwhelming customer response. So was this Google-lead initiative successful in making everyone happy? Here is what all happened

GOSF 2014 started off with a bumpy ride, with the official website being down for several hours on the very first day. Although the participating sites saw a rise in traffic, the unavailability of the main website was disappointing for many, particularly because it had Google India’s brand name backing it.

The participating sites still managed to keep the customers’ spirits high with the deals. Even with the mix responses on the first day, many of the websites did good sales.

Myntra alone managed to sell over 1 lakh fashion products on the first day of GOSF, which it calls a huge milestone for itself and for the fashion and lifestyle eCommerce segment.

Within 10 hours of the event launch Infibeam registered  80% traffic and 60% jump in sales from normal day. Categories like Books, mobile, computers, lifestyle and electronics were hot favorite for shoppers.

The consumers were particularly active on Facebook and Twitter too, actively posting actively with hashtag GOSF on both the sites.

The announcement of extension of GOSF till 14th December came with a contest across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, called GOSFDeal, wherein Google was giving out Nexus 7 tablets to consumers who could best answer why they deserved a deal. Many won, and many more resented and said the competition to be rigged. Below is the tweet of one of the winner.

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On one hand there were some happy shopaholics, and on the other, there were people who pointed out the not so good side of this festival. The discounts on some sites were below the expectations of some consumers.


I found most of the deals of apparels on #GOSF to be overpriced and then discounted.Hence giving customer false happiness!

— Arun (@iamjhakaas) December 12, 2013

How come @GooglePlay is not part of #GOSF? They do sell apps/books/movies/music/devices on the Goog India playstore so Y U NO GIVE DISCOUNT?

— adityadugar (@adityadugar) December 12, 2013

Google For a change you disappointed me. Bad page design, and even worse offers. #GOSF ’13

— Unnikrishnan Nair (@uniqueukn) December 11, 2013

And Twitter was not the only site that saw such activity, Facebook had its own share of GOSF related consumer resentment.

The consumer activity on social networks are full of mixed reactions, however the participating sites saw a great rise in traffic and sales. And not just the Internet retailers, companies from different sectors of eCommerce sphere in India took part in the event, including coupon and deal, real estate and travel portals etc. Below are some responses from the leaders of the participating businesses.

Events like these will create a win-win situation for both the online businesses as well as the consumers, along with increasing the penetration of eCommerce in the country. Since a number of the customers were first time buyers, according to the statements, evidently Google was successful in converting some Internet users in India to online shoppers. Now the GOSF website reads a thank you message, and most web stores have returned back to the usual discounts and sales. What did you buy or sell in this festival? Do share with us in the comments.

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  • Gagan

    The philosophy of ‘How even Indian consumers could be disguised’. Thanks for contributing the real insights Sugandh.

    • Sugandhdhawan

      Thanks for the appreciation

  • sandy

    It’s true that the discounts that these had given are no different than they used to give before GOSF. However, a few of the sites marked up the price and then gave the discounts. Ultimately it’s customer who is feeling cheated…

    Sorry, it can never be compared to balck friday or cyber monday… not even with singles day slae in china