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First Seen On Real Reviews!

The first day of the second edition of the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) organized by Google India, seems to have got off to a rather embarrassing start with the website failing to open correctly and instead displaying a blank page with a ‘Hello World’ test message.

We saw this at 2pm IST. Given our universal trust in Google, we first rubbed our eyes in disbelief, followed by calling up a few friends across different cities, asking them if they were seeing what we were! But alas, it’s true.

This faux pas is even more unforgivable considering that Google India’s three-day ‘online shopping bonanza’ which had claimed to be ‘bigger and better’ than last year’s edition, aims to get more Indians to shop online by raising awareness and increasing consumer trust in e-commerce websites.

The press release has quoted Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director, Google India as saying, “Great Online Shopping Festival is India’s version of Cyber Monday in the west and is an exciting platform to raise awareness and consumer adoption of online shopping in India… We are hopeful that the initiative will help our partners to set new benchmarks in daily sales and help to build consumer awareness and confidence in online shopping.”

Right. Until they get to the GOSF website and are confronted with what looks like a trainee programmer’s first day at Google.

According to industry estimates, there are close to 20 million online shoppers in India and its estimated to grow to 50 million in the next few years, making it a 16 billion dollar industry.

In the same press release, Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director eCommerce, Google India is quoted as saying, “Last year’s success helped us to get onboard many partners across verticals and products, who have all lined up incredible deals for the bargain hunters and first time buyers. We are hopeful that the initiative will help our partners to set new benchmarks in daily sales and help to build consumer awareness and confidence in online shopping.”

We wonder what the 200-odd online retailers and e-commerce websites who have partnered with GOSF will have to say about this.

Why don’t more Indians shop online, asks Google? Maybe this is why.

Update (4pm IST): Google India has meekly tweeted an apology.

 

GOSF aims to get Indians to shop online by raising awareness and increasing consumer trust in e-commerce websites

Update 2 (7pm IST): The website is back on. Just one page which links to the offers pages of their partner retailers. If that’s all there was, what took them so long?

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