As Google’s 3rd Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) kicks off today, India’s major retialers including Flipkart, which has sold $100 million worth merchandise in Big Billion Sale recently is shying from the event, not merely because of its own technical glitch but also owing to the threat the Google mega-sale would pose in the future.
But, more than 300 retailers have already queued up for merchandise from consumer durables to housing, besides brands in travel, fashion and accessories. But protesting the mega-sale, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), comprising medium and small retailers, has complained to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley fearing threat to their bricks and mortar model.
Even the big retailers like Reliance Industries, ITC and Aditya Birla Group have already raised voice against the discounts being offered online. The recent example of selling President Pranab Mukherjee exclusively on Amazon has irked book stores to threaten to boycott the publisher. The experiment, started with Xiaomi is another challenge to Indian smartphone makers and not falling behind, Micromax is also planning to launch a new Canvas phone exclusively on Flipkart.
However, with more than 400 brands on GOSF sale through the gosf.in website, with price comaprison websites on stand-by, while this time snapdeal.com, amazon.in, ebay.in, limeroad.com, shopclues.com and jabong.com are prominent on the sale front, though Flipkart is giving a cautious miss this time.
Launched in 2012 by Google, the 2013 sales saw almost 200% rise in sales, claim 200 GOSF participants, with the peak time from 2 to 8 PM in India.
This year, Google India has an ‘exclusive launch corner’, where its own products for the Indian buyers will be available including Nexus 6 and Chromecast. Another new section called the “Rs 299 Corner”, similar to the 100-YEN sales in Japan would feature this time to cater the price-sensitive Indian buyers. Snapdeal, ebay, Jabong, Firstcry, Fab Furnish, Lensekart and Yepme.com are among those offering the Rs 299 deals on wrist watches, electronics, clothes, linen and furnishing material.
Even big time real estate companies including the Tata Housing is offering flats in cities of Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, while car makers offering their brands today include Fiat, Mahindra, Renault, Chevrolet, Ford and Nissan. Job portals like Naukri, Shine and Monster are offering discounts and healthcare, travel and luxury premium products are not far behind from the show, including the insurance policy available on discount.
Twitter is going gaga with its GOSF 2014 handle #72HoursOfCrazy, while most of the buyers have posted their grievances. It remains to be seen how far this year’s Google Great Sale will go.