GOSF, Google’s Great Online Shopping Festival was first organized in 2012 to give Indians the Cyber Monday (USA) or Singles Day (China) experience. Following its success the past two years since inception, GOSF will happen from 10-12 December this year.
Although it was associated with the festival the past two years, Flipkart will not be participating in this year’s GOSF and will run its own promotion on its mobile app during the period. The Big App sale has been announced for 8-12 December, a clear headstart of two days before GOSF. While other marketplaces like Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon and Shopclues will be part of India’s biggest online sale; Flipkart will offer its own discounts through its mobile app.
“They (Flipkart) have done their own sales and have learnt from their mistakes. Now they are aware of the good and bad of running such events,” said Harish H.V., partner, Grant Thornton India LLP. “Also, they (Flipkart) have spent enough money already in creating their brand. The number of people who have experienced Flipkart is huge. So, they are in a pretty strong position,” he added.
While GOSF tied up with 270 partners last year, this year it has participation from more than 450 brands and ecommerce portals. “We have partnered with all leading players including Amazon, Snapdeal, etc. Flipkart is the leading company which has decided to not participate this year,” said Nitin Bawankule, industry director eCommerce, Google India.
Apart from ecommerce companies, medium and small niche players, retailers like Lakme, Big Bazaar, Van Heusen etc. will also be a part of GOSF this time. Some brands like Karbonn mobiles and Motorola Nexus will use the platform to launch their new product offerings.
Industry experts have said that participating players have to shell out $2 million and above for social media and online videos in addition to Google Display Network (GDN).
What about Flipkart?
Flipkart spent heavily to advertise for its Big Billion Day sale, which turned out to be one of the biggest disasters of ecommerce history. Although huge discounts were offered, consumers were left disappointed and turned to social media and other platforms to express their unhappiness and anger about their bitter shopping experience.
So in this case, although Flipkart turned to offline and online media for advertising, the technical glitches and stock out positions actually drove consumers to competitors’ sites. A lesson learnt the hard way maybe, but Flipkart will not be spending much to promote its sale this time. Rather, it will cash in on other players’ advertisements for GOSF.
However, Flipkart denied any connection between non-participation in GOSF and the Big App sale. “Big App Sale has been part of our road map and independent of any other event,” said Mausam Bhatt, senior director, marketing (mobile and digital). “We are increasingly seeing a huge amount of growth coming from mobile apps—and majority of this is outside of metro cities. This event is a great enabler for people who primarily access Internet via their mobile devices and may have been kept out of online shopping offers and discounts that have been driven by desktops in the past,” said Bhatt.
When asked if the Big App Sale will be on a similar scale as the Big Billion Day, Flipkart said, “The Big App Sale was a part of our annual road map—and is not really connected to The Big Billion Day. Given the difference in formats and target audience, we would not like to make a comparison of the scale and expectations either.”