Will 12.12.12 be lucky for e-retail?
Will 12.12.12 be lucky for e-retail?

Cyber Monday, a marketing campaign started off in the United States of America in 2005, is now being replicated in India as the e-retail market gets strong. Started off after the Black Friday following Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping days of the year in the country.

In the US, According to the Shop.org/BizRate Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study, "77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)". In 2010, comScore reported that consumers spent $1.028 Billion online on Cyber Monday (excluding travel, 2009: $887M), the highest spending day of 2010. It is also experienced in countries including Canada, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, UAE, Egypt, Chile, Colombia and Japan.

Now coming to India, the online shopping festival initiated by Google India will further boost the Indian e-retail market as the consumers would be able to catch great discounts and deals. The festival which will run on www.gosf.in is slated to go live on 12-12-12 wherein for 24 hours users all over India will enjoy unbeatable deals from all the partners and enjoy discounts upto 70 per cent in some of the product categories.

“Online shopping is at nascent stages in India but it is growing very fast and we’re attempting to further boost the growth by bringing this exciting format of a one day sales across all leading products and brands to the consumers in India. This is our first attempt to help boost the growth of eCommerce in India - and we hope to reach out to many first time online shoppers in the country. We’ll also promote this extensively across all our properties to drive traffic and awareness for the festival,” says Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director, Ecommerce - Google India.

What’s in store?

Buyers can look forward to exciting discounts across a variety of product range for example users can enjoy discounts up to 40 per cent on smart phones and tablets, up to 70 per cent off on premium and branded footwear, up to 70 per cent off on home decor products, 20 per cent off on diamond & gold jewelry plus an additional discount of 12 per cent for first time buyers only on 12th December. Partnering sites will also offer express delivery and many other exciting offers like an opportunity to save up to Rs 10 Lakhs on real estate deals.

Google has 50 partners on board for the festival including leading eCommerce retailers, local & classifieds, online travel and BFSI. The names include eBay India, Flipkart.com, Indiatimes Shopping, snapdeal.com, makemytrip, Yebhi.com, firstcry.com, Sulekha.com, Homeshop18.com, Croma, Gitanjali Group, Shine.com, Yatra.com, Zansaar, Fashionara, Caratlane, pepperfry.com, healthkart, Lenskart, Monster India, Bagskart, Jewelskart, Watchkart, Tradus, GoIbibo, Timtara, FreeCultr, BeStylish, Inkfruit, Myntra, Zovi, Fashionandyou, Quikr, Hoopos, Naaptol, Jabong, Firstcry, Goodlife, Babyoye, Hushbabies, and others.

Commenting on this unique initiative, Mukesh Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO, Myntra.com said, "Online shopping in India is fast catching up to western markets and with initiatives like the Great Online Shopping Festival, first time shoppers will soon discover the benefits that e-commerce platforms have on offer. For this 24 hour sale, we have lined up some really exciting offers from our portfolio of 500 brands and we're confident that shoppers will come back for more."

"Being a partner of Google Online Shopping Festival, Homeshop18.com is offering discounts up to 70% on various categories and products," says Narasimha Jayakumar, COO Ecommerce, HomeShop18.com.

Going social

Social media and the internet space is being well utilised to market the Cyber Monday festival. While Google is utilising its own space and properties to drive traffic, Indiatimes has started pushing this campaign on social media and is experiencing huge traction. “We have also lined up direct mailing campaigns which will be sent to our dormant and active user base to get more traction,” says Subhanker Sarker, COO, Indiatimes Shopping.

Adding to it Jayakumar said, "Promotion wise, we have made the idea well visible on our website, on our marketing platforms, and also through Yahoo search engine."

What is expected?

The industry is all set to mint huge numbers in terms of sales and orders on the auspicious date of 12.12.12. Bawankule says, “While we will be measuring the traffic to GOSF.in but our partners will be looking at total orders placed. In general, the industry estimates a percentage spike of around 15 per cent to 20 per cent.”

“This is a great initiative which will bring together the industry and all leading players under one roof’ and will further boost adoption of online shopping in India. It will expand our reach beyond the 18 million Snapdeal subscribers and will help us attract and reach more buyers,” said Kunal Bahl, co-founder and chief executive of Snapdeal.com.

“Google is putting its entire marketing might behind this promotion. We are expecting a huge spike in the number of new customers which will buy for the first time on Indiatimes shopping while the promotion is going on. We are targeting a 30 per cent hike in our traffic and orders on 12th December 2012,” says Sarker.

"HomeShop18.com is expecting more than 100% uplift in sales as the concept has been heavily promoted across the internet – in all our properties and also through Google-driven initiatives. We are looking at 100,000+ increase in visitors, 5000+ orders, and about a crore of sales. This is the expected numbers as per the popularity that we enjoy being one of the leading players in this domain," informs Jayakumar.

The question of concern is the number of Internet users in India which is just 137 million Internet users, barely 10 per cent of the total population of the country. With this number, will the e-retailers be able to reap the kind of sales, orders and traction that this festival has earned in other countries including US and China.

Hope the auspicious date of 12/12/12 be lucky for e-retailers and they get business.

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