The whole online world in India was abuzz with excitement after Google announced ‘GOSF‘ Great Online Shopping Festival – a 24 hour shopping window to provide a first hand experience and encourage first time online shoppers to do online shopping with great offers and deals in collaboration with major e-commerce players in India like Flipkart, HomeShop18, IndiaTimes and eBay.
Many of us were expecting black friday,cyber monday like great deals but were disappointed with deals not being good enough to entice purchases.
Google claims that GOSF is a great success with some incredible traffic and sales data provided by various e-commerce sites.But the general sentiment with people online especially in the social media sites like Twitter is that people were not very impressed with the online deals.
But instead of getting into the discussion of whether GOSF was a success , let us try to understand some of the basics of GOSF !
The Date 12-12-12
As Google announced the date of GOSF to be on 12-12-12,it made me ponder about the date chosen. Diwali being a major festival in India where major shopping would have been completed. So organizing a festival during the lean period could have impacted the sales.So Google should think about organizing just before the Diwali season so that more people could shop online.
But one thing to consider is that during the festival season , the e-commerce sites would-already be doing well and running late with orders.So that could be the reason why the month of December was chosen when shopping sales data is not at its peak.
The Day – A working Wednesday
Day chosen was Wednesday , again this could be a mere coincidence since Google would have targeted this attractive date of 12-12-12. But interestingly Wednesday is a working day.For a lot of people working in many offices,internet access is restricted for employees trying to access e-commerce sites.So this could have impacted the number of users going online fishing for offers.
But the contrary could also be true which can also be explained that Google believes that a lot of people do not have internet at home but only in office. This is why Google could have chosen a working day that is not the start of week were work load is high and again not towards end of week when people usually leave office early and GOSF may not any attention.
We need to see how Google picks up the date for next year. This could throw some light on how Google uses its data mining process to arrive on a date for the festival.
What it is in it for Google?
Main idea for Google was to woo the first time e-shopper who has not yet tried online shopping. The site had some tips on how to ensure the online shopping experience is great,secure and fun.
But the fundamental question is why would Google would go all the way to more promote online shopping?Festivals like this create awareness among-st people and help in getting a lot of people to get into the habit of shopping online.
What this means is that there will be a lot of both small and big business trying to sell their products online.As more business come into the online world, the need to market the site becomes essential which means the e-commerce sites will rely on Google for advertisement and thus Google earns a lot of money through this.
This could be the end goal for Google!
What is in it for e-commerce sites?
This is where we fail to understand. GOSF has paved for exploring all other e-commerce sites available in India other than the main players like Flipkart , HomeShop 18 etc.This is a bad news for main players who spend a lot of money for promoting their sites whereas the new sites get easy marketing through GOSF.
Though none of the new players made great splash this year with mouth-watering offers and deals that could make them get noticed other than PayTM that launched its online ticket system with good deals,next
year I suppose some e-commerce sites could use this approach to get themselves noticed without spending much for marketing.So it would be interesting to see how many established players would continue to support GOSF when the new players can steal their thunder right under their nose.
Where are those awesome deals?
For first time online shopper,the deal breaker for making a purchase online has to be the price. Without any great prices,it is hard and difficult to convince people to shop online.But all the sites that participated had
only the usual discounts that are available but branded under GOSF. So the offers in no way is motivating the shoppers to go online.
And some sites use the same old technique of bumping the price before GOSF and bringing it to the usual level that is typical with physical stores during the discount sales.
One more issue with people not believing e-commerce site is the pricing. Most of the site displays the MRP and then shows the offer price. But in reality,the offer price and the price at which it is sold in market could be
almost similar.So as a first time user when you check for the product whose market price you are already aware of,it makes you easily realize the tricks played by these sites which is similar to the physical stores. These kind of gimmicks leads to loss of trust in the online shopping experience.
Though this is the first time such a festival is organised, I think a lot of players would have been in the wait and watch mode. Perhaps they could be in a better position to ape their game when the festival goes online the next time.
Let us see if Google is able to pull it off next year! But this year, GOSF is a big flop at-least from the consumer point of view ignoring the sales data provided by e-commerce sites since they could be a mere marketing gimmick by the sites in conjunction with Google.