GOSF 2014: Setting new trends in e-commerce

From increased traffic from mobile phones and customers buying real estate online, the GOSF gave e-commerce a much-needed push. We spoke to online retailers, cashback & coupon site owners and digital experts to understand how GOSF 2014 benefitted them

The online buying frenzy got escalated with the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) by Google, held this year from December 10 to 12. More than 450 online retailers took part in the shopping festival and brands such as Motorola Nexus 6, Google Chromecast and Appyaappstore (an app store for kids) used GOSF as a platform to launch their new products.

BestMediaInfo.com spoke to online retailers, cashback & coupon site owners and digital experts to understand how GOSF 2014 benefitted them.

Praveen Sinha, Co-founder and Managing Director, Jabong, said, "GOSF this year has witnessed a great response from the consumers. Three days of this shopping carnival is not less than some annual festival that customers await around this time of the year. On the first day itself, we have observed an extraordinary leap with our revenue rising four to five times compared to our sales on any regular day. There has been a rise in revenue from mobile at least by six times as compared to the last GOSF. Even the traffic from GOSF on the website has significantly risen by eight times as compared to the last year. There were a lot of repeat customers, making high-value transactions to make the best use of the offer and finally, there was also an increase in new customers from mobile."

Sinha further added, "This tremendous excitement shown by our customers has made us open doors to some of the best offers from exclusive brands like River Island, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and more. All in all, we are geared to double the excitement and make this festival bigger, better and brighter like never before."

Commenting on which categories usually benefit from these 'big' sales, Swati Nathani, Co-founder, Team Pumpkin, said, "Usually low margin categories which are not generally on discount tend to do well during these fests. Travel and electronics sectors usually benefit well. However, this year we saw addition of many new categories on GOSF. From Online Gaming, Mobile Apps, Real Estate, being a new entrant, Matrimonial to Insurance, everything was on sale. The data also indicates that while the top cities continue to dominate the online sales trend, traffic from smaller cities has seen a good spike."

Giving an idea about the ad spends this year at GOSF, Lavin Punjabi – President, Affinity, (a leading ad network), said, "The GOSF is now in its third year and has given an impetus to the growing e-commerce industry in India. We have undoubtedly observed an increase of about 30-40% in the total ad spend budget by our client advertiser brands and top e-commerce industry players who participated in GOSF 2014."

The Newbies

Kotak Securities participated in GOSF for the first time and offered a flat 50% discount on opening a trading account at Rs 299 and Rs 750 package free along with it, which includes research alerts.

Jaimit Doshi, Head of Marketing, Kotak Securities, said, "Finance is an interesting area, but one doesn't seem to realise that much can happen in the online space as well. We realised that GOSF has this Rs 299 band, so we decided to enter this area and the response was tremendous. We found that people have awareness, but there is low propensity, so we decided to narrow this gap with our offerings. We found that there was more traffic from desktops than mobiles, and we expected the other way round. Also, other than the metros and the big cities, we got calls from the interiors of the country. And, this is all because of e-commerce spreading and the internet penetration."

For home decor site Deco Window, the GOSF experience was quite exciting. Vaibhav Jain, CEO, Deco Window, said, "The traffic on the site increased five times from a regular period, which is a great number for us to be excited about. We stand strong in our curtain rods and window curtains, and we noticed quite some buzz happening in these categories. In terms of traffic, we saw equal visits from both men and women. However, conversions were skewed towards women. In terms of age, our major traffic came from the 18-34 age group."

Trends

According to the findings of the 'Round Up GOSF 2014' done by Coupons & Cashback site Pennyful, Apple iPhone 4S was the top selling phone and 'Half Girlfriend' by Chetan Bhagat was the top selling book. The top four selling product categories were Electronics (26%), Fashion (26%), Furniture & Kitchen (18%) and Baby Care (10%). The top six GOSF retailers were Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm, ShopClues, Myntra and Jabong. The top selling item from the Rs 299 corner was the Lenovo Wireless Mouse N100. The Top selling video game was 'Far Cry 4'. The average cashback earned was Rs 135 per order and finally, the average value of order during GOSF was Rs 4,200, as compared to Rs 3,000 during normal days.

Jimish Jobanputra, CTO and Co-founder of DesiDime.com, pointed out that one of the most interesting trends witnessed was the immense traction which the realty sector got through this year's GOSF. "Generally people think twice before booking a house offline, but astonishingly Tata Realty witnessed 10000 people booking flats online, thus showcasing that even offline players can benefit immensely from e-commerce," he observed.

According to CashKaro.com, among the shoppers, 76% were men and 24% were women. Commenting on this trend, Swati Bhargava, Co-founder, CashKaro.com, said, "While it is true that women are also shopping online, but the number of men doing so is more. Some of them might even be ordering on behalf of their families. It's also true that more men have credit/debit cards compared to women. The most popular category online is mobile and electronics, which is again what typically men shop for more. As e-commerce grows, we are confident that more women will shop online and there is a lot more growth to come from this segment."

While metros like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai were the top cities, traffic from Tier I & II cities like Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Pune have doubled on CashKaro.com. Bhargava informed that the absence of Flipkart from GOSF further augmented sales for players like ShopClues. "Mobile wallets like Paytm & Mobikwik have witnessed a 2X increase in transactions. The top five price categories at the GOSF 2014 were Rs 299 or lesser (37%), Rs 300-5,000 (33%), Rs 5,000-10,000 (11%), Rs 10,000-15,000 (8%) and over Rs 15,000 (11%)," she shared.

Sameer Parwani, Founder & CEO of CouponDunia.in, said, "We helped our consumers save Rs 5.5 crores from our merchant websites. CouponDunia witnessed a four-time spike in visits to the website this year. More than 7, 00,000 people logged in during the three days. Mobile traffic also saw an increase with 37% traffic via mobile devices, which increased 9X times VS GOSF 2013. This year has been successful for us despite the lack of attractive deals that were offered a few months back during Diwali. With an increase in the number of players this year at GOSF, the volume and transactions saw an all-time high and we witnessed an increase in first-time online shoppers as well, which was around 48%."

Source: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2014/12/gosf-2014-setting-new-trends-in-e-commerce/
(Published in the issue of bestmediainfo dated 15 th December, 2014)

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