GOSF – The Great Online Shopping Farce!


Sorry Google, I am extremely disappointed with your Great Online Shopping Festival – It was not a festival, but a big huge farce!


I was (like thousands others) anticipating GOSF to bring about the “real” deals, probably comparable to the likes of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but that was not to be. Infact, regular coupon sites and discount codes offered are much better.

I logged into GOSF after midnight and within 10 minutes of browsing few deals, here was my reaction which I put up on Facebook.

Facebook post

Generally, the idea behind such single day shopping extravaganza is that a very minute percentage of products from the catalogue are sold at extremely discounted prices. What the online retailers cash in is the additional products that get sold, and new customers that they gain from such “deal days”. Its win-win for both the buyer as well as seller.

Frustrating thing about GOSF was that out 100 sites that registered, I could not find a single deal where I could say “WoW”. And if that factor is not there, I term this whole exercise as a big failure. Google just raised high hopes but delivered nothing.

All the deals and discounts which are available on GOSF could be termed as regular deals, which probably you get during any festive season.

What was even more disappointing was Google’s choice of participating sites. There were real estate sites, travel sites, Job sites and even a car manufacturer (Skoda).

I don’t have anything against listing these sites, but then they had to offer something really attractive rather than run of the mill regulars. Infact, some sites listed did not have any discounts at all. Here is what Sulekha ad mentioned   -  “India’s #1 online destination for buying, selling and renting properties – property.sulekha.com Property / Rentals”.

In some cases, the site did not even load when I clicked on the GOSF banner. For eg: the Skoda banner, which said – “Avail the SKODA Rapid birthday offer now!”. After clicking, here is the page I got. I tested it yesterday as well as now. Here is the screenshot.

page not found

Having said all this – I understand that Google never promised that GOSF would offer you great attractive discounts and deals, but honestly, Google had a great opportunity. I am sure with little push from their side, the e-tailers would have definitely offered better discounts…

I can only say GOSF for me was a “Great Online Shopping FARCE

  1. Karan says

    Arun, comparing GOSF with Cyber Monday is a huge contradiction in itself. Firstly, GOSF was focused on bringing new customers online, which initial reports suggest was achieved (http://tinyurl.com/c43bj75). Secondly, Cyber Monday has been around for 7-8 years, expecting anyone to replicate that infrastructure in 1 year is not possible, why would retailers listen to anyone? They would want to see if such initiatives will work in India, having worked with an e-comm site, I can assure you that our breed is very skeptical. Also, the GOSF managed to get more that 80 players online, that’s super in itself… Maybe next year will be better now that awareness is setting in…

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Like I have said in my previous comment..if the yardstick was getting people to shop online, GOSF was successful to a certain extent. However, if it was about offering really great deals, they failed miserably. Definitely they could have done better.

  2. Albert says

    Arun, I never seen 20% to 25% additional discount on Flipkart. Evan Infibeam announced 10% off on all products. Look at SnapDeal, They have attractive today only coupon codes. Yet there is so many unique deals listed there.

    It is not exactly same like Black Friday/Cyber Monday’s 50 to 70% discounts like US Merchants on the competition. This is Google’s initiative for both Merchants and Customers to get maximum benefits in online shopping.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      @albert – The figures are coming out today and most of the retailers have registered good numbers… So, from retailers perspective I think it was a success. Now, you mentioned about snapdeal, flipkart and others…and their discounts… To be honest, they are regular discounts… which you can achieve even on normal days using coupons available on various coupon sites.

      If it was any other company other than Google organizing it, I would not have said it is a farce, but with Google pushing, I definitely expected better. I was not comparing it with Black Friday or Cyber Monday per se, what I was trying to say was Google is trying to bring that culture. Please read my previous article on the reasons why Google may be arranging GOSF – http://trak.in/tags/business/2012/12/03/googles-great-online-shopping-festival-reason-behind-it/. That will give you an idea.

      Bottom line is – if the yardstick was getting people to shop online, GOSF was successful to a certain extent. However, if it was about offering really great deals, they failed miserable. Definitely they could have done better.

      Hope you get mu point..

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