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Your Guide to GOSF 2013: The Why, How & What?

GOSFGreat Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), the Indian equivalent of Cyber Monday is back this year again. If you are a bargain hunter, you might find the next three days great. Just how great? We can’t tell yet.

This year the festival will be held for 3 days, from the December 11-13. More than 200 online stores will sell discounted products to online buyers. Compared to last year, when the festival promoted by Google debuted, the number of participating stores has more than doubled.

Some of the big names in the Indian ecommerce space including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong and Snapdeal will take part in the festival this year.

The Bollywood Connection

The festival has also teamed up with the cast of upcoming Bollywood movie, Dhoom 3. You can buy official merchandise from the movie at discounts during GOSF, and also create shopping carts for clothes that are similar to those worn by Aamir Khan’s and Katrina Kaif’s characters in the movie.

#Win or #Fail?

Last years online festival was ridiculed on Twitter after sites were found to be selling bogus discounts. While Google claimed that its first GOSF was a huge success, the 24 hour event was called by many on Twitter as a gimmick.

Companies like IndiaTimes, Pepperfry and Snapdeal saw a 40-50% increase in traffic in the last edition of the shopping festival, said Google. For companies, it appears to have worked magic. But buyers? Well, Indian buyers are a hard lot to please (especially with BS).

Why is Google doing this?

Last year we wondered if Google was testing waters for Google Offers, the company’s deal business. However, that’s pretty much ruled out now. Google’s intentions seem to be very clear: Get online shops to advertise more on Google.

E-commerce companies in India are some of the top online advertisers in the country. According to comScore, companies such as Olx, Amazon, Jabong, Microsoft, Myntra and Dell were among the top online advertisers in India.

In September 2013, Flipkart had nearly 16.5 mn unique visitors whereas Myntra had 16 mn, followed by Amazon at 13.5 mn and Jabong at 12.4 mn. Snapdeal had 8.9 mn unique visitors and e-Bay has 7.8 mn.

Meanwhile, Google has been running advertisements on the Google network to promote GOSF. Besides, there is a lot of chatter on Twitter and Facebook. In what appears to be part of a neat plan, all the partners have started plugging deals on their respective Facebook & Twitter pages.

CAUTION : Are  deals really cheaper than offline retail?

This is a question you probably want to figure out before you buy online. End of December is around the same time when offline retailers announce their end of season sale. It’s more of a clearance sale which gives customers deep discounts.

What we recommend is you try out price comparison sites like MySmartPrice and FindYogi to find the exact price of the product. Last year, few companies pumped up the MRP during GOSF and offered discounts – so stay calm and keep shipping shopping.

Here’s how you can make the best out of the 72 hours of discount festival.

There are more than 200 online portals taking part in the GOSF this year. With thousands of deals to browse through, it becomes a painful affair. Online sites like Cupon Dunia and Cupo Nation have curated the offers for you in a categorical manner to make your shopping experience easier. You can also search on Twitter for the #GOSF tag to get some of the latest GOSF offer available.

Overall, GOSF partners plan to offer 60% discount on luxury watches, 20% discounts on domestic air tickets and 80% discounts on home decor among others. Here are a few deals that have already been announced to give you a headstart.

  • You can pre-order your GOSF deal at shine.com for their career services.

  • Comparison shopping site, Ebang up.com will give you 5 reward points for every 100 rupees spent on GOSF.

  • Take part in 3 back to back contests on bluestone.com between the 11-th and 13th to win gift vouchers worth Rs 2,000 everyday

  • Enter your e-mail id at pet portal, DogSpot.in to get exclusive GOSF discount coupons

  • CompareTheBazaar to give upto 70% on lifestyle products, 15% on mobiles and upto 25% off on electronics.

  • DesignEmporia has already started offering discounts on its lifestyle and fashion products for GOSF

  • Airtel will also be offering a 10% to customers on top of existing discounts if their online transactions use Airtel money (a great way to get some traction for Airtel Money?)

  • Online PC and video game retailer Game4u will also be offering discounts of upto 50% on games like FIFA 14, Assasins Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto V

Recommended Read: GOSF : Sales deals VS Industry Branding Initiative? Feedback from a partner [Hits & Misses]

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