Google India Gets Serious About Shopping Online – Brings Major Players To A Festival

Search giant Google has woken up to the online transactions market in India. To bring some major attention to the online shopping space, Google is organizing the Great Indian Online Shopping Festival on the 12th of December. It is still unclear whether this is a 1 Day event or a longer term campaign [Update: The search ads say that this is a 1 day campaign only]. The main aim of the campaign looks to promote online shopping and curb the inhibitions about online payments/shopping in India. Although about 100 million people are online in India with about 60% of them using Facebook as well but many still fear making a transaction online. Popular Indian eCommerce companies, like Flipkart have addressed the same issue in their TV ads targeted towards the avg. middle aged Indian.


Google is promoting the campaign on local radio channels and also bringing some serious visibility through SEM. The campaign is also  encouraging ‘Wishlist Building’ through Twitter and G+ to create the social media buzz. This is what the Wishlist page says:

This campaign is a pre-cursor to something bigger that is yet to be revealed. Lets see what this could be about:

1. An online shopping comparison engine – Google already has almost all the data of all the products sold online but it hasn’t entered the comparison shopping space in this geography. The Shopping Search feature of Google is not very popular even amongst the most active Internet users. Already, Amazon’s Junglee is in this space and struggling to make a mark. Given the huge activity on TV channels and banners ads through Google Adwords, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most of their traffic is inorganic.

A major reason for Junglee’s low organic traction is that it has been unable to get major Indian ecommerce players like Flipkart, Infibeam or even Ebay India to sign up. Most sellers on Junglee are still little known. Google’s GOSF has been able to rope in Flipkart and some other popular ones to sign up for the campaign.

2. A payments system –  A close look at the list of sites that Google has roped in would tell you that this festival is less about shopping  but more about payments. Job sites, match making, general classifieds, travel, real estate listing and even domain booking services are included in the festival.

Google Checkout is still not popular in India. Only recently was it opened for Indian app developers for them to start putting up paid apps on the Android Marketplace. Looking at the huge buzz around the payment gateways in India and lack of competent players in this space, Google might be using this to associate online payments and Google so that they feel secure on seeing Checkout/Wallet on the checkout page.

This follows the recent approval that Paypal received for domestic payments in India.

GOSF definitely looks a move forward for the Google Wallet in India.

Or is this only to get India its own Cyber Wednesday may be!? What do you think this is?