In the USA, eager discount shoppers wait with bated credit cards for the big sales following Thanksgiving called Black Friday. On this day, stores see record footfalls with miles-long queues outside most malls. In recent years an online version of the sale termed Cyber Monday has caught the attention of weary shoppers and now Google India is bringing the concept to the country with the Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), a 24-hours shopping extravaganza.
In the fest, 50 participating websites will offer discounts across categories ranging from apparel and electronics to even real estate and travel. “We have been seeing healthy growth in the online shopping space in India, and we felt that there was a need to conduct an industry-wide initiative that can act as a catalyst to boost the adoption of online shopping. That’s how the GOSF was born,” says Nitin Bawankule, industry director, e-commerce, Google India. For first-time shoppers there is a handy tips section on the GOSF website, where you can learn how to navigate the labyrinth of shopping and deals portals and learn how these sites work. You can also create a wish list of all the deals that you like and share it on social networks.
The festival will have some special offers that are not available on the discount websites every day. “Our partner websites have compiled their best deals and discounts for this day. Most of them are also offering special offers to first-time online buyers,” says Bawankule. Popular shopping portal Myntra is also participating in the fest and will be offering an additional flat discount to shoppers, who will be routed through the GOSF website. “This is over and above the existing offers that are in place on Myntra,” says Mukesh Bansal, co-founder and CEO, Myntra.com. “It is primarily aimed at encouraging new customers who are first-time online shoppers to experience the benefits that such platforms offer,” he adds.
It will be interesting to see the response to this first-ever online shopping festival spanning so many e-stores. “Our recent association with Citibank for their OMG Sale on December 5 saw about 15–20 per cent jump in sales during the 24-hour period. This validates that such concepts do work in India,” says Bansal. Bawankule has similar thoughts. “We have seen a growth in the number of search queries for people looking for products online through the year. So a one-day sale across leading e-commerce players is expected to be received well by users,”he says.