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Everyone hits a jackpot at Google's shopping festival

Experts say the interest of offline players and brick-and-mortar stores in the festival was striking

Anusha Soni  |  New Delhi 

A travel website recorded a 25 per cent jump in transactions in the past four days; a real estate company saw brisk sales of units; and an e-commerce company claimed its sales were 10 times the average daily number.

These, among others, were the deals that made the four-day Google online shopping festival a rage in cyberspace. As the festival came to an end on Saturday, across the real estate, automobile, retail and hotel segments went home happy, with cash registers ringing.

The event, which has transformed from a one-day affair to a four-day bonanza, emerged as a top trend on Twitter and a talking point on social networking site Facebook. The trigger might well have been Google’s promotional strategy of giving a Nexus 7 tablet every hour to the most interesting tweet that answered the question ‘why do you deserve a deal( at online festival) and a Nexus 7’.

“We don’t have data on total sales, but most players have seen robust growth,” said Nitin Bawankule, industry director (e-commerce), Google India.

The festival saw people buying houses, planning holidays and availing of discounts on hotel bookings. “We have garnered incremental sales of about 25 per cent. Hotels have been a huge hit, as we were offering a flat 35 per cent off, closely followed by flights and holidays,” said Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com.

Tata Value Homes said the company sold as many as 22 units (houses) in two hours.

On day one, e-commerce company Myntra sold 100,000 products, while Snapdeal registered a 10x growth in daily revenue. “Our transactions have increased 146 per cent, with a 72 per cent rise in revenue,” said Ridhima Gupta, executive director, Kent RO systems, another participant in the festival.

A spokesperson from Amazon, the world’s largest online retail chain, said the company had seen a rise of about five times in units sold, adding there was a rise across all categories. Consumer electronics was the highest-selling category.

According to Bawankule of Google, the festival saw participation from across the country, with half the buyers making their first online purchases. Website Infibeam recorded 67 per cent first-time buyers.

In the men’s category, e-commerce website Jabong.com reported the highest increase in sales, with a substantial number of buyers in tier-II cities. For Homeshop18, the buyers from tier-II cities doubled during the sale period. Most leading e-commerce saw a rise of two-three times in mobile traffic.

Experts said the interest of offline players and brick-and-mortar stores to enter an online shopping festival was striking. “Offline decisions are becoming increasingly influenced by the online world. It is vital for a player in any sector to understand the audience and buyer’s behaviour on the internet,” said Gaurav Gupta, senior director, Deloitte India.

Sriram Ravi, head (digital marketing), Basics Life, said events such as Google online shopping festival were platforms to help test their preparedness by simulating the huge expected online shift.

First Published: Sat, December 14 2013. 22:48 IST
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