Online retailers seem to be having a gala time after Google India extended its virtual shopping extravaganza by a day. The sale will now end on Saturday night instead of on Friday night.

The three-day event, Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), was extended after it witnessed an overwhelming response from shoppers despite the fact that the site crashed on the first day.

Record sales

The second edition of GOSF has resulted in record sales for several e-tailers such as Myntra, Jabong and Snapdeal. That apart, several offline players and real estate companies like Tata Housing have got huge response.

According to a Tata Housing official, the company sold 22 value homes after they announced on GOSF that a flat can be booked at just Rs 20,000.

Surge in online shoppers

Several online players said that they have had 10x kind of growth in just 24 hours as against any average day. This, they said was due to lot of campaign by both Google and the players themselves besides growing popularity of ecommerce in India.

GOSF's first editon last year witnessed over a million people visiting the site, but this time the target is over 3.2 million people, of which a majority of them are likely to be the first time online shoppers. Over 200 players are participating in the fest this year.

GOSF was started as a concept to bring all the online players under one common platform and help them in getting more visibility as well as sales.

Despite several challenges pertaining to the online industry in India, etailers are hoping to cash in on what is being seen as India’s answer to ‘Cyber Monday’, a shopping extravaganza in the US or ‘Singles Day’ in China. Flipkart, eBay, Snapdeal and several other players foresee multi-fold increase in sales in this GOSF.

etailing in India

GOSF was also betting big on the growing Internet penetration, growth in affordable smart-phones to drive sales this time besides, growing popularity of online shopping among consumers in small towns.

As per a recent study, e-tailing, at approximately $2 billion (over Rs. 12,000 crore), contributes less than just 0.5 per cent to total retail industry in India. However, it is estimated to grow to $75 billion by 2020.

Off with a blast

Speaking about GOSF 2013, Sandeep Komaravelly, VP, Marketing, Snapdeal.com said, “GOSF 2013 has started off with a blast on Snapdeal.com. We have seen 10x increase in sales as compared to last year. We expect to see a further increase in the sales in the next two days as well. Initiatives like GOSF act as a catalyst to further boost adoption of online shopping in India. In fact, a lot of these new shoppers become repeat buyers and add up to the traffic on the website."

Ravitej, CEO of cashback firm pennyful.in said that the first two days have been with top shopping sites like Myntra, Amazon, and SnapDeal. Shoppers are not only looking for discounts but also quality and brands that they have never seen before, an official at Myntra said.

Electronics, clothing top purchases

Electronics and clothing are the runaway categories this year, said several players adding that the extension of the day will help them post record sales ever.

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 13, 2013)
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