Google shuts down flagship online shopping festival GOSF

Google on Tuesday announced it was discontinuing its annual Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), which was India’s answer to the hugely popular ‘Cyber Monday’ sales in the U.S. The move was precipitated by the growing popularity of e-commerce sites such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, which host their own versions of Diwali sales.

“Today, India has many flourishing and successful e-commerce companies and there are multiple deal days being hosted by various e-commerce players delivering great value to shoppers across India,” Google India Industry Director (e-commerce, local and classified) Nitin Bawankule wrote in a blog. Users don’t have to wait for 12 months to get the best deals online, while small and medium businesses no longer have to wait for to find customers from all across India, he wrote.

“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,” he added. According to Google’s estimates, when GOSF was first introduced in 2012, India had 130 million Internet users with only 8 million shopping online, and the total online shopping industry was worth about $2 billion.

Three years later, India has more than 350 million Internet users and some 50 million online shoppers,. While that number is projected to reach 100 million by 2016, the industry is already more than $10 billion in size.