Google ends the Great Online Shopping Festival in India


Google India has cancelled its three-year-old annual shopping event – the Great Online Shopping Festival, taking a step back to let the big giants like Flipkart and Amazon do their own thing.

As Google pointed out, back in 2012, when it launched Great Online Shopping Festival to rival USA’s Cyber Monday, the total online shopping Industry had a revenue of $2 billion. Over the last three years, it’s grown to $10 bln.

“Back then India had 130 million Internet users with only 8 million Indians shopping online… Fast forward to 2015, India has over 350 million Internet users and over 50 million online shoppers projected to reach 100 million by 2016,” pointed out Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director – eCommerce, Local & Classified, Google India.

“Our objective was to bring all the leading ecommerce players on a common platform and boost the online shopping industry by focusing on first time buyers. We had never done anything like this before in any country.”

The festival had somewhat lost its attraction after Flipkart and Amazon came up  with their own pre-Diwali festivals known as Big Billion days and so on.

As a result, it was getting more and more difficult for Google to get giants like Amazon to participate in an event branded by them.

In fact, partly due to the efforts of Google, India has one of the fastest growing online shopping industries in the world. And Google has profited enormously as online shopping websites are reported to be the single biggest advertisers on Google’s ad platform, Adwords.


“In addition to helping large eCommerce players get massive transactions, GOSF served as a great platform for hundreds of small and medium businesses to find customers across India. Many small and medium eCommerce portals used GOSF as a launch platform and saw phenomenal growth in sales and some of them today are well established online shopping destinations,” Bawankule said.

Today, India has many flourishing and successful eCommerce companies and there are multiple deal days being hosted by various e-Commerce players 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 to find customers from all across India. Success of new categories introduced in GOSF like Real Estate and Auto have today become a norm, and both industries have embraced Internet to sell directly customers.

“The pace of growth and the impact eCommerce companies are driving in India has gained significant momentum and we are very pleased that we were able to play our part in this journey in India. GOSF in many ways was a catalyst in boosting consumer confidence to shop online and we are grateful to all our partners and buyers who contributed in making GOSF, the largest online shopping festival not just in terms of scale but also in impact.

There were many learnings for us and the Industry on the whole but the time has come for us to bid adieu to the Great Online Shopping Festival. 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,” he added.