The Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) has kicked off and despite the absence of Flipkart and Myntra, this year sees around 450 companies participating in the initiative, compared to 90 partners in 2012, and 270 last year. With the new “Rs 299 corner”, discounts are as massive as 80% and even 90%, which also includes free shipping. Last year, around 2 million people logged into the GOSF website with partners expecting the total sales and visits to be much in excess of this number.
In the first day itself, mobile wallet services provider MobiKwik informed us that the top e-commerce websites till noon were ShopClues with 3,100 transactions, eBay with 2,000 transactions and Snapdeal with 1,200 transactions. As a partner, MobiKwik is giving users 20% cashback on top of all GOSF discounts on eCommerce websites such as Snapdeal, eBay, ShopClues, HomeShop18, Naaptol, Infibeam, Dominos, MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow, Purplle, Pepperfry, AmericanSwan, FashionAndYou, etc.
The company reported crossing 15,000 transactions via wallet by noon on first day with 60,000 additional wallet deposits and 200,000 "Wallet Purchases" for mobile recharge, TV recharge and bill payments in addition to eCommerce transactions.
Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, Founder and CEO of BlueStone.com, said that last year they saw daily sales nearly quadruple during GOSF while the number of visitors went up by 30- 35% with the conversion rate increasing by approximately 50%. “The momentum created on social media platforms also contributed to the increased conversion rates. We saw an increased level traffic throughout the day. This year we expect it to be higher,” he noted.
CouponDunia, a coupon aggregator is looking at 2x sales and 150% increase in traffic on the website and approximate 60,000 coupons to be used per day over the three days.
“In 2013, we saw 100% increase in visits to the website during GOSF as compared to the previous year. We also saw a 2x rise in sales with 45,000 coupons being used per day. We helped consumers save an aggregate of 20% across top categories,” said Sameer Parwani, CEO & Founder of CouponDunia.
“2014 has been a fantastic year for the Indian ecommerce industry. For the last couple of years, GOSF has managed to attract a lot of interest from both existing and first-time online buyers. Over the last 12 months, we have seen a great number of first-time-shoppers trying the online medium to fulfil their buying needs. There will be something for every customer with lucrative offers up to 70% savings across categories. There will also be a number of other exciting exclusive product launches which will also be announced during the GOSF,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson, which also exclusively launched the much-awaited Google Chrome Cast during GOSF.
When asked about their experience in previous years as a GOSF partner, Sundeep Malhotra, Founder and CEO of HomeShop18 said that the shopping festival has proved beneficial for them in the past. “In previous years of GOSF, we witnessed exceptional increase in traffic and sales on both the website as well as, our mobile platform. We have seen a 3x increase in sales and 40% more traffic via their app. Also, the HomeShop18 Mobile app received 40% more downloads on Android and iOS platforms during GOSF,” he said. He further added that categories like clothing, accessories &footwear, digital products, electronics and gadgets drove sales in previous years. This year, HomeShop18 is providing discounts as high as 80% on over 500 brands.
What is interesting is the wide variety of companies that have participated in GOSF, from pureplay e-commerce websites like HomeShop18 and SnapDeal, we also have the likes of Adlabs Entertainment, which is leveraging GOSF to boost their properties Imagica and Aquamagica. Harjeet Singh Chhabra, CMO of Adlabs Entertainment said they expect 50-75% spike in online bookings through this partnership. The company is offering up to 30% off on tickets. “The trend of online shopping has been growing manifolds , over the past few months we have witnessed 20 – 30% bookings for Imagica and Aquamagica happening through our website and we hope the growth in the bookings continue,” he said.
Ditto TV, the Over-The-Top (OTT) TV distribution platform from Zee, is offering a flat 70% off on yearly subscription pack of Rs 1,099. Tata Value Homes (TVF) is also utilizing the GOSF platform to launch special offers on its properties in Boisar, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. For example, lifestyle apartments in Boisar, near Mumbai, starting at Rs 16 lakh would be exclusively available during GOSF. Last year, TVF sold 50 apartments in four days. Out of these, around 40 per cent were bought by people from tier 2 cities and NRIs contributed a little over 30 per cent to the overall sale, informed the company. Fashion brand Van Heusen has also created a special collection called the 'Stellar Collection' which was launched during the festival.
With GOSF 2014 gearing to be bigger and more ambitious than its predecessors, it is natural for its partners to expect an even bigger payback than previous years. With the various online sales and offers seen since the Diwali festive period clearing proving the Indian consumer’s appetite for online deals is insatiable, we can expect to see some interesting numbers by the time GOSF ends. But perhaps shopping festivals like these have a much more important role to play by encouraging shoppers, especially first-time online buyers, to shed inhibitions and shop online.