Google has tied up with several e-commerce websites in India to bring together an online shopping festival. Basically online buyers can expect a lot of lucrative discounts on a variety of products. The 3 day festival is called GOSF (Google Online Shopping Festival). Yes, this is supposed to be India’s version of “Cyber Monday”.
Last year the GOSF kicked off to insipid enthusiasm and more importantly criticism of users finding that the discounts on offer were either not lucrative and in some cases, the prices were over-inflated and then a hefty discount applied.
This year GOSF will probably see a lot less of that, but it has not been an auspicious start as gosf.in the official portal crashed in the first few hours. Google India did tweet out that the site should be up soon. At the time of writing this post, the portal was up and running.
The Logic is missing
The online retail business in India is growing but I cannot help feeling that GOSF is an misplaced effort. Yes, it would be nice to have India’s own “Cyber Monday” but there is logic behind the “Cyber Monday” phenomenon in the US. Thanksgiving holiday in the US is observed on every fourth Thursday in November. Many Americans have a long weekend off, which stretches from Thursday to Sunday. Some who go on vacation or travel do not have the option of availing Black Friday discounts which happen at retail shops on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Having super discounts on Monday (Cyber Monday) means a lot of buyers can enjoy their vacations and still avail great discounts online. This also was useful initially as not all houses had an internet connections and people used their office computers to shop online. And offices opened only on Monday after the long weekend.
This while science or logic behind “Cyber Monday” is totally missing with GOSF. The attempt is novel but maybe it should be held every year the day after the festival of Diwali takes place in India. It is a traditional festival when Indians save up and shop during. Or atleast have this festival in the first weekend of the month, which is closer to the first of the month and is a time when many online shoppers have just got their salaries credited into their account.
What do you think of GOSF? Do drop in your comments.