India’s first online shopping event ‘a success’

Google India has revealed that its first Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) was a huge success, recording a huge increase in traffic, writes.

Despite the technical glitches reported earlier this week, where the host website crashed for three hours on opening day, the organisers say they saw some impressive results.

The extended event, hailed the Indian equivalent of the US’s Cyber Monday, apparently received two million unique visitors. Given that internet shopping is a fairly new concept, that’s an impressive figure.

Google noted that the vast majority of visitors were aged between 18 and 34 years of age and 46 per cent of them were women. It estimated that around a third of visitors were new to online retail.

Google India’s e-commerce director, Nitin Bawankule said: “All leading partners saw an increase of three to four times growth in daily sales during GOSF. Even offbeat categories like cars and housing saw great traction during the festival… Currently we estimate that over 30% buyers were first time shoppers on most sites.”

All the same, reports, e-commerce faces some unique challenges in India. Though it is enabling people in rural locations to obtain items previously limited to bigger towns and cities, poor infrastructure requires retailers to invest heavily in warehouses and delivery options. Availability of affordable broadband is another concern.

That’s not all, as a nation that prefers to deal with cash, online payments are posing a challenge. However, some companies are using an ‘online wallet’ into which people can safely store money for purchases.

Regardless, the activity is growing and it’s predicted that India will overtake the USA to become the second-largest online shopping nation by 2015.


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