With online players like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal witnessing phenomenal growth in their Diwali sales, technology giant Google today said it is discontinuing its 'Great Online Shopping Festival' (GOSF) from this year.
Started in 2012, GOSF began as the Indian version of "Cyber Monday" to encourage Indians to shop online by offering discounts and deals across categories. "Today, India has many flourishing and successful e-commerce companies and there are multiple deal days being hosted by various e-tailers delivering great value to shoppers across India.
"Users don't have to wait for 12 months to get the best deals online, small and medium businesses no longer have to wait for www.gosf.in to find customers from all across India," Google India Industry Director (E-commerce, Local and Classified) Nitin Bawankule wrote in a blog.
He added that while there were learnings for the company and the industry with the GOSF, "the time has come for us to bid adieu" to it. "Back then, India had 130 million Internet users with only 8 million Indians shopping online, and the total online shopping industry was approximately USD 2 billion," he said.
Fast forward to 2015, India has over 350 million Internet users and over 50 million online shoppers projected to reach 100 million by 2016 and the industry is already over USD 10 billion, he added. In the maiden edition of GOSF, Google saw over 90 retailers participating and traffic from over 5,00,000 points.
This grew to over 240 retailers and 2 million in traffic in 2013 and further to more than 550 retailers and 14 million in traffic last year. "We will continue to invest in initiatives to empower small and medium businesses and work along with the industry to make Internet a growth engine for the country," Bawankule said.
The three leading players -- Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon have hosted their Diwali sales this month. They claim to have seen multi-fold growth in sales on their platforms over last year.