GOSF 2013, What went wrong with you?

The Great Online Shopping Festival was supposed to be the Black Friday/Cyber Monday rip-off strategy for the online Indian. It was supposed to be bringing more people to shop online enticing them with attractive deals by Google. The first year brought in a flurry of bad reviews and mismanagement by the eCommerce Brands with people complaining Websites pushing their usual discounts in the name of GOSF. And everyone thought Google would be better prepared this time to tackle this situation.

GOSF 2013 Launch Gone Bad!

Unfortunately, the GOSF website which was supposed to regulate and inform the users about the different retailers participating in this 3 day online extravaganza and direct users to their offer pages was down starting 12 AM midnight. How is that for a Rocking start! You can still see a ‘Hello World’ as i am writing this post (20 hours later)

GOSF Website Down


And as it happens with many events, people took to Social Media to protest what they termed as ‘cheating’ and ‘fraud’ in the name of an online sale organized by Google. Some conversations below depicting the average sentiment over Twitter today:

 What went Wrong Google?

Google wanted to invite everyone to the party (which surprisingly also featured non eCommerce players as well) which crowded the whole space too much for my liking. And although we cannot blame the intentions here, the preparations by a Global Brand need to be questioned. You cannot have a 3 day online festival where the main website is down in the first day itself and yet 20 hours later remains to be in the same state . And yes, Google did put up an apology tweet for today’s fiasco

If you are looking to promote online shopping in India, i would have loved if Google would have curated websites (only 10 per category) rather than allowing everyone to be a part and confuse the average internet user.The GOSF site could have housed the top deals aggregated from all the top e-commerce websites which would have acted as a one stop destination for consumers (new and old online visitors alike) to find and buy the best products at the best prices. This would surely save on the time of a visitor (who is now busy scrubbing out different websites or coupon based sites to search the lowest and best deals among all the GOSF websites listed).


  • Good User Experience
  • Saves valuable Time of a consumer
  • Probability of a return visit after his first purchase

Deals are Everything:

Deals are the backbone of this initiative! And that’s where everyone was disappointed with GOSF in it’s second year running. The offers are nowhere close to be called as ‘extra-ordinary’. These are the same offers we see under festive events like Diwali and end of season sales. Many websites are labeling their regular discounts under GOSF and misleading the new consumers to buying their first product for a ‘good price’

Repeated failures to the event may hamper the overall initiative by Google to help more Indian consumers come online and shop online. And we do hope Google and other retailers have something better for us in the coming year. This year, we still stand disappointed!

How do you think GOSF 2013 India should have been organised? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

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