Even as the likes of Flipkart clocked sales of $100 million in under 10 hours thanks to its amazing discounts...
Even as the likes of Flipkart clocked sales of $100 million in under 10 hours thanks to its amazing discounts on the Big Billion day sale, the Google-promoted Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), which kicked off on intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, promises to be another mega show. More than 5 million potential shoppers have already visited the site gosf.in to register themselves for the 72-hour online shopping festival that has 450 vendors this time, up from 250 last year and just 90 in 2012 when the festival was for just 24 hours.
Last year, 2 million users had visited the site and the merchants registered twice the growth on their daily average sales and this year most partners are expecting three times the sales.
Nitin Bawankule, director for e-commerce and online classifieds at Google India, told FE he saw the GOSF as a trend line for what is going to happen in the e-commerce industry the following year. For instance at last year’s GOSF, “we saw 45% of the users coming from mobile phones. At that time the e-commerce players were getting less than 20% of the transactions through mobile phones. So we told the merchants to develop their mobile platforms like apps,” he said. Most e-commerce firms now see roughly 45% of users coming on mobile platforms.
While the country’s largest e-commerce player Flipkart will not be part of GOSF, Google has managed to ensure its flagship Nexus 6 phone will be available at GOSF. Under the arrangement Google has, the Nexus 6 was to be sold in India only through Flipkart.
“The big boys might have grown indifferent but for most of the smaller players and offline players this still generates a lot of traffic and revenues. This has been working very well for them,” eTailing India founder Ashish Jhalani told FE.
However, other big e-commerce players such as Amazon.in, Snapdeal.com, Shopclues.com and Jabong.com are all geared up for the Google-promoted event. Google itself on Tuesday announced the launch of Google Chromecast in India at R2,999, to be sold on Snapdeal.com and select Airtel stores across India from Wednesday.
A continuing trend is that mobile phones still contribute 20% of e-commerce sales even if the price cuts have eased. Last year both mobile phones and laptops saw discounts of 6% on average during GOSF. According to Bawankule, discounts have ceased to be the reason for shoppers to buy online; rather, it is convenience and choice.
Google also has a special section offering products at Rs 299 with free shipping and cash on delivery to attract first-time buyers, who comprised over 30% of customers last year. And that should net more customers.
“During the three-day GOSF period, we are expecting a 400% increase in traffic and 300% increase in revenues,” said Rohan Bhargava, co-founder, CashKaro.com, one of the participating merchants.
TheElectronicStore.in, part of India’s brick-and-mortar retailer The Mobile Store, believes that if you can’t beat them, join them. After earlier protesting against the discounts offered by online players, The Mobile Store is participating this year. It would be hoping to get results similar to Shopclues.com, which reported a triple-digit increase in sales and nearly 1.5 lakh new customers in the event. The company is expecting traffic to surge by 120% and 180-200% rise in sales over GOSF 2013.
According to Bawankule, last year GOSF saw women’s participation of around 40%. In a recent study conducted by Google, it found that by 2016, of the 100 million shoppers that it is expecting online, 40% will be women.