Internet search engine Google has decided to stop its online shopping event, Great Online Shopping Festival, three years after it was launched in India due to competition from Indian e-commerce giants.
“In 2012, we launched Great Online Shopping Festival as the Cyber Monday of India to encourage more Indians to shop online by offering them the best of deals across portals,” said Google India’s industry director, eCommerce, Local & Classified Nitin Bawankule, in a blogspot.
The objective was to bring all the leading ecommerce players on a common platform and boost the online shopping industry by focusing on first time buyers, and Google had never done anything like this before in any country.
Sujayath Ali, CEO and founder, Voonik. com
E-commerce firms have now become a major force in India that they can run their own deal days better and bigger than what Google can do. These firms also have bigger budgets to get the message across. Another reason could be that the discounts are now over-used and abused by the e-commerce firms that Google might not want to be part of this madness.
Sumit Agarwal, co-founder, Giftxoxo .com
Too much of media hype created and too many days/offers created by the current players like Amazon / Flipkart / Snapdeal was destroying the essence of the shopping festivals like GOSF. Every day seemed to be a festival now. Besides, most of the small guys have become active suppliers to the big players in the industry so not much of value was being created to SMEs in the exercise. Visibility offered to small players in this exercise will be lost. Creating small niche brands and upside of sales will be hampered here.
Ankita Jain, co-founder, GoPaisa .com
It is no cause of worry for top 5-10 retailers who have billions in funding but for emerging and new brands GOSF proved to be an effective marketing channel for such brands. Hence, an important support / marketing channel for brands is gone.
WHAT GOOGLE SAYS
Bawankule said India now has many flourishing eCommerce companies, hosting multiple deal days and delivering great value to shoppers across India.
“Users don’t have to wait for 12 months to get the best deals online, small and medium businesses no longer have to wait for www.gosf. in to find customers from all across India. Success of new categories introduced in GOSF like Real Estate and Auto have today become a norm, and both industries have embraced Internet to sell directly customers.”
In 2012, the country had 130 million Internet users with only 8 million Indians shopping online, and the total online shopping industry was approximately $2 billion. In 2015, India has over 350 million Internet users and over 50 million online shoppers projected to reach 100 million by 2016 and the industry is already over $10 billion, estimated Google.
“The pace of growth and the impact eCommerce companies are driving in India has gained significant momentum and we are very pleased that we were able to play our part in this journey in India,” he said.
“GOSF in many ways was a catalyst in boosting consumer confidence to shop online and we are grateful to all our partners and buyers who contributed in making GOSF, the largest online shopping festival not just in terms of scale but also in impact,” he added.
“There were many learnings for us and the industry on the whole but the time has come for us to bid adieu to the Great Online Shopping Festival. We will continue to invest in initiatives to empower small and medium businesses and work along with the industry to make Internet a growth engine for the country,” Bawankule said.