#GOSF – The Great Online Shopping Failure

GOSF – What is not right about it!

The Great Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) is all over my timeline. To be honest, I also had my share of fun.


What went wrong with GOSF: 

1. GOSF was down.
The Official Site was down – gosf.in. That is ok, but just that we didn’t (No one did) expect this from Google. .

2. Everyone Got Invited to the Party.
Over 225+ partners were listed on GOSF.in. It looked like a directory of ecommerce sites. It should have been exclusive, invite only and curated.


3. Selection of Partners

What were Automobile sites, Property sites doing on Online Shopping. Some ridiculous offers included Rs. 10,000 off on your Dream Home (Really?)


4. Quality of Deals
Everything can be excused but not the quality of deals.
– Many partners (if not all) ran their regular promotions under GOSF.
– Deep discounting on Chinese & Unbranded products continued. Up to 90% off on such products.


5. Efforts by Partners
– The participating partners (many of them) are marketing it just like any other event (Rakhi, Diwali, etc).
– Existing products & offers that were run for centuries got labelled under GOSF.
– Few sites had bugs (I reported couple of them – down side of knowing too many people).
– Many partners have not made any efforts to even put up even the GOSF banner on their sites or even deals.


GOSF will be still reported as Great Success. Why?

Post end of event, many Ecommerce partners will claim impressive numbers. I am sceptical of any numbers around the same attributed to GOSF or their own internal marketing efforts.

Because – This is how my inbox looks today:


Because – This is how my SEO & SEM looks today:


Because – This is how on-site Marketing looks today:



Concluding Notes:

I am not against GOSF or Google or its Partners (Personally and also because I know too many friends / acquaintances who are associated with the industry). Its a great concept and if it manages to get ‘New People To Shop Online’ (those who never did it before) its a great win for everyone (all professionals) who has anything to do online.

I don’t want to end this note on post as a critic, so here are some suggestions for the next #GOSF:

  • Limit Partners under every category – Max 10 to 15. Limit Categories to 10.
  • Curated by Partners, Approved by Google – Real offers, real deals.
  • Limit number of products / offers by every partner to 100. Again real deals; feature them on GOSF.in
  • Instead making partners spend online (SEM) – It should direct all that traffic to GOSF.in and lets users choose what they want to buy. (Google did the same for Gmail launch).

Signing off. I was just being practical. And, One more thing…

  • Jose Felix

    On your Point #1 , The IPL-1 feed in youtube went down for every 10 minutes during its first edition . Site crash is not new for Google , especially in India

    • http://www.beingpractical.com/ Pravin J

      Thanks for pointing it out Jose. Missed that completely, possibly bcoz I don’t follow Cricket.

  • shubha

    More importantly, this is a result of estimation going wrong. I guess Google underestimated the number of users who will leverage this platform.

    And what is more disappointing is the amount of time gosf.in is taking to start working again.

  • Anonymous

    Over 225+ partners were listed on GOSF.in. It looked like a directory of ecommerce sites. It should have been exclusive, invite only and curated – IT WAS!!

    • http://www.beingpractical.com/ Pravin J

      If every known site makes it to GOSF, how can it be curated?

  • extr3mex

    Your right. gosf is a big fail in my opinion so far. I did some detailed analysis especially on the computer accessories , pc games, and electronics section. It is weird that some unheard unbranded chinese products are the only electronics with offers. In PC games section, I was looking out for Assasins creed Unity and did not find that, but the upcoming deal is for AC1 which is a very old game, and they are probably just clearing dead stock. Now, in amazon Galaxy tab 3 is selling for 11k, while its available in ebay for 9k, and can get it cheaper after applying promo codes. It sad to see users who are new the online shopping getting tricked into this. What do you think?