Google to discontinue Great Online Shopping Festival
With online players like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal witnessing extraordinary growth in their Diwali sales, technology giant Google said today its discontinuing its ‘Great Online Shopping Festival’ (GOSF) from this year. Started in 2012, GOSF began as the Indian version of “Cyber Monday” to encourage Indians to buy online by providing discounts and deals across categories. “Today, India has several flourishing and successful e-commerce corporations and there are multiple deal days being hosted by various e-tailers delivering great price to shoppers in India. Google India Industry Director (E-commerce, Local and Classified) Nitin Bawankule wrote in a blog, “Users do not 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 seek out customers from all across India”. He added that while there have been learnings for the corporate and the industry with the GOSF, “the time has come for us to bid adieu” to it. “Back then, India had 130 million net users with solely 8 million Indians shopping online, and also the total online shopping industry was approximately USD 2 billion,” he said. Fast forward to 2015, India has over 350 million Internet users and over 50 million web shoppers projected to achieve 100 million by 2016 and also the business is already over USD 10 billion, he added. In the maiden edition of GOSF, Google saw over 90 retailers taking part and traffic from over 5,00,000 points. This grew to over 240 retailers and 2 million in traffic in 2013 and further to more than 550 retailers and 14 million in traffic last year. “We definitely will continue to work along with the industry to make Internet a growth engine for the country and invest in initiatives to empower small and medium businesses,” Bawankule said. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, the three leading players, have hosted their Diwali sales this month. They claim to have seen multi-fold growth in sales on their platforms over last year.
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