If Indian consumers’ response to sales and discounts by e-commerce websites is anything to go by, all the venture capital money that has flooded the sector over the last year or so is perhaps justified. Despite the numerous discounts through the festive months of October and November, buyers gave an upbeat response to the recently concluded Google’s Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF).
“I think all the earlier sales were limited to one single website and were narrow in that sense. GOSF was across websites, so there was much more range to choose from,” said Hyderabad-based Samantha Menacherry, who made several purchases during GOSF. “There were deals across all the e-commerce websites I generally shop from, so I have in fact bought everything that I anticipated I would need in the next few weeks also.”
While most e-commerce websites that participated in the event witnessed a four to five times jump in traffic, portals that offer related services such as coupons, cashbacks, price comparison and mobile wallets were also major beneficiaries of the three-day event that concluded at midnight on Friday.
Mobile Wallet firm MobiKwik clocked a revenue of Rs 5 crore during the three days on 1,05,000 transactions that it felicitated. Almost half of these transactions were for shopping, followed by food and entertainment, travel and fashion and cosmetics. The top three e-commerce merchants on MobiKwik wallet transactions were eBay, Shopclues, and Snapdeal. “Traffic grew by five times during the three days. Mobile shopping has really taken off at this GOSF,” MobiKwik co-founder Upasana Taku told Business Standard.
With sales running across hundreds of e-commerce portals, buyers took to comparison portals for making purchases. Price comparison portal iSpyPrice.com saw an 80 per cent rise in traffic during each of the three days of GOSF as against usual days.
Comparison shopping platform MySmartPrice called this year’s GOSF “bigger and better” than last year, as the company saw a 35 per cent increase in its gross merchandise value (GMV) and got over 8,00,000 visitors per day. “Consistent growth in traffic is one thing to notice this year, as we saw the growth sustain throughout three days, despite early fear that the excitement may wear out in a day,” the company said.
The absence of Indian e-commerce posterboy Flipkart, which gave GOSF a miss this year because the dates of the event clashed with its Big App Sale (where the company is offering discounts to buyers who make purchases through its mobile application), helped several competitors and smaller players. According to various data analytics firms, Amazon, Snapdeal, ebay, and ShopClues were among the most visited websites in the general etail segment.
Several niche segments such as automobiles, jewelery, travel and real estate remained the highlight of the sale as buyers flocked these websites in big numbers.
During Thursday and Friday, online travel aggregator Goibibo saw a 40 per cent jump in the total transactions with the hotels segment receiving the higher traffic. “There has been an increase in traffic by over 100 per cent as compared to last year,” the company said in a statement.
Having learnt a lesson from earlier online sales that were widely criticised for technical glitches and stocks running out too soon, etailers appeared more prepared during GOSF with no major technical snags being flagged at any of the portals. Also, most offers and stocks lasted long enough for consumers to make purchases as per their convenience.
“This time GOSF was better known and very well marketed. We think compared to last year, this year customers know what to expect from GOSF,” said Arun Sirdeshmuk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Premium fashion retail portal Fashionara.com. “Our sales during this year’s GOSF are 500 per cent more compared to last year’s GOSF.”
GOSF at a glance…
* Top retailers – Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues, ebay
* Top categories – Electronics, fashion, travel, food
* Top cities – Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad
* Average 300% rise in traffic across websites
* 10am – 12pm saw peak traffic across portals
* Almost 65% male participation vs 35% female
Source: Based on data received from DesiDime, iSpyPrice.com, MySmartPrice, Cashkaro.com, Blueocean Market Intelligence