The Google-hosted three day shopping festival; Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), came to a close on December 12, 2014 and the general opinion of GOSF partners, which numbered in excess of 400, was that the response was much better than 2013.
Vikram Chopra, Founder and CEO Fabfurnish.com; a provider of home furnishings, said, “GOSF exceeded expectations. Our traffic increased by 150%. The revenues went up by 5 times and our conversion rates also doubled. There was a great increase in the average selling price, which simply indicates a positive change in consumer internet behaviour."
Though not all e-retailers were forthcoming with numbers, from the few that were, it seemed that there had been a multifold increase in sales. For example, CouponDunia.in’s Founder and CEO Sameer Parwani said that 37% of traffic came via mobile devices which means an increase of 9x over last year, with a doubling of average revenue per user (ARPU) this year. “YoY CouponDunia has seen a rise of 180% in their users which has increased sales by 200%. We helped our consumers save 5.5 crores from our merchant websites. CouponDunia.in witnessed a 4 times spike in visits to the website this year. GOSF 2014 has been successful for us despite the lack of attractive deals that were offered a few months back during Diwali,” said Parwani.
According to another GOSF partner, MobiKwik, traffic grew by 5X during the three days. Around 35% of total transactions powered by MobiKwik were on mobile. Android contributed 94%, followed by 3.5% iOS and Windows 2.5%. The top merchants in terms of revenue were eBay followed by ShopClues and Snapdeal, with MobiKwik claiming a total sales revenue over three days to be around Rs 5 crores.
Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder of CashKaro.com, India’s largest cashback & coupons site said, “GOSF has given an impetus to the growing e-commerce industry in India. Retailers offered some never seen before deals across product categories with “Rs 299 corner” and “Exclusive Launch” section being the highlight of the shopping festival. We at CashKaro.com saw a splurge in traffic by 450 per cent and 350 per cent increase in revenues during GOSF. The average order value also doubled as compared to normal days. With the success of GOSF this year, the stakes for next year are set to be even higher.”
A festival on the scale of GOSF seems to have had more positive effect on the smaller buyers; though sales details are not available from all vendors. With the likes of Flipkart staying away from the event it seemed that that the other e-retailers in India made merry. In fact, quite a few customers were of the opinion that deals offered by the likes of ShopClues et al were much better than the more well known e-retailers. Sitakanta Ray, Co-Founder and Director of MySmartPrice said, “This GOSF, MySmartPrice witnessed 20% growth in overall traffic to the site as well as 100% growth to our dedicated GOSF Deals section. We had over 8 lakh visitors per day during the GOSF period. In terms of transactions, we had a 50% increase throughout our site while our deals section more than doubled its daily number of transaction. We also saw a 35% increase in GMV.”
The numbers might not seem remarkable taken individually but here are some statistics provided by some retailers might put things into perspective; CouponDunia saw 48% traffic from first time buyers. Around 35% of total transactions powered by MobiKwik were on mobile; for MySmartPrice, this percentage was 52%.
Was GOSF successful? This is a question that depends on multiple ways of looking at it. There has been, if the figures provided are any indication, a marked increase in sales and visits. Mobile transactions have increased, as have first time users. Does this translate to a profitable three days for e-retailers? Considering the way e-commerce works in India, it might but if we just consider the aim as introducing more and more shoppers to e-commerce then we might have to agree that GOSF 2014 was a success.