GOSF 2013: Larger Participation, but Complaints Galore

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By Johnlee Varghese | December 12, 2013 7:33 PM EST

Google India's - Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), which is the Indian equivalent of Cyber Monday has been doing brisk business after registering a phenomenal participation.

For its second edition, GOSF has lined up more than 200 online stores to sell discounted products to online buyers. Compared to last year, the number of participating stores has more than doubled.

The Indian variant of Cyber Monday, which is a marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States, made its debut on 12 December 2012 when Google India partnered with many e-commerce companies including Flipkart, Snapdeal, HomeShop18, Indiatimes shopping and MakeMyTrip.

The festival has also teamed up with the cast of upcoming Bollywood film "Dhoom 3". Users can buy official merchandise of the film on discounts during GOSF and also create shopping carts for clothes that are similar to those worn by Aamir Khan's and Katrina Kaif's characters in the film.

"The response has been phenomenal.The traffic is expected to get bigger," said Nitin Bawankule, industry director for e-commerce at Google India.

"As new Internet users come aboard, we continue to see a very healthy growth in online searches for online shopping, with over 40 percent queries coming from mobile phones. We have extended the festival to three days to cater to the growing demand and hope to attract many first time buyers this year."

Last year, it was a one-day event with 80 participants. The shopping festival that kicked off on December 11 will conclude on December 13.

However, it has not been a smooth road for Google this year, as several complaints of technical issues have been plaguing the shopping site

"There was a lot of interest around this years GOSF. But when people landed up on the site, it was terribly disappointing. Nobody expects the site to be down when Google is backing it. Some online shoppers have also been complaining that sellers had jacked up prices prices and then discounted it. Online shopping is very still early in India. While the industry is growing fast, there are issues relating to supply and delivery. Most online buying is now fuelled by deep discounts.The focus should be on improving the online experience," Jayadevan PK, the editor of Indian Technology Website NextBigWhat told IBTimes

A Twitter user raised a similar complaint saying, "GOSF is turning out to be a disaster. On good note e-commerce is on rise in India #gosf."

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