NEW DELHI: Google has extended its Great Online Shopping Festival in India by another day, following the response of consumers who have flocked online to buy everything from houses to shoes.
"GOSF is getting an overwhelming response from shoppers," said Google India Industry Director e-commerce Nitin Bawankule, with over one million people having already visited the site.
"The popularity can be gauged by the fact that Tata Value Homes sold 22 flats (housing units) and 3 cars have also been sold," he told PTI in remarks reported by the Financial Express.
In its second year, the festival has grown from a one-day affair with 80 participants to a three-day, now four-day, event with around 200 retailers. It now joins other significant online shopping moments around the world, such as Singles Day in China, Black Friday in the US and Cyber Monday in the UK.
The first day of the festival was marred by technical glitches but even so, those online retailers participating in it reported substantial increases in sales.
Snapdeal.com said it had seen sales increase ten times compared to last year, while Jabong said revenue was up between four and five times that of a normal day. eBay India reported that traffic had doubled while revenue growth was up 3.5 times with the site seeing a significant rise in the number of first-time buyers.
Before the start expectations were running high, as the Economic Times reported sportswear giant Puma was anticipating overall sales would go up 20 times this year, while Indiatimes Shopping was aiming for a more modest fivefold increase.
Not everyone was so convinced of the success being trumpeted by Google, however, as Jayadevan PK, the editor of technology website NextBigWhat told the International Business Times that people had been disappointed in the GOSF site. "Nobody expects the site to be down when Google is backing it," he said.
And he added that some shoppers were complaining that sellers had increased prices beforehand just to be able to claim they were offering discounts during the festival. While most online buying focused on discounts, he said the industry needed to address issues around supply and delivery.
"The focus should be on improving the online experience," he declared.
Data sourced from Financial Express, Economic Times, International Business Times; additional content by Warc staff