5 December and 12 December 2012 could end up being iconic days in the history of e-commerce in India. Citibank and Google picked these dates respectively to tie up with several e-commerce websites around the country to run their online sales.
1. The sales could be compared to ‘Cyber Monday', the term given to the online shopping sales that take place in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, UAE, Egypt, Chile, Colombia and Japan.
2. Citibank called its sale the OMG! Sale. Held on 5 December, the sale attracted 17 websites. On the thought behind the sale, Sridhar Iyer, director, digital business, Citibank India, says, “We have always endeavored to offer market-first and value-driven propositions to our customers. OMG! Sale was another one of Citi’s initiatives designed exclusively for our customers. We believe that such events will enable the proliferation and growth of the e-commerce in India which is in its early stages of development. We will continue to bring innovative campaigns to the online space to help our consumers and merchant partners alike with the firm belief that such initiatives will not only help spur the growth of e-commerce but also provide value added benefits and choice to our customers. We owe it to our partners and customers to bring about growth and innovation to the online space. This campaign was conceived on the back of a market-first ‘Dil v/s Bill’ EMI at no extra cost campaign done during Diwali this year across 500 merchant outlets, which resulted in EMI sales doubling when compared to the same period last year.”
3. Iyer claims its OMG! Sale was beneficial for the websites participating in it. Iyer says, “Citibank card spends grew eight times over average daily spends at the 17 partner websites. The average ticket size increased by 30 per cent for the partner websites on Citibank cards. Partner merchants reported a 50 per cent reduction on ‘cash on delivery’ mode of payment, helping in the digitisation of money flows amongst retail customers in India.” Along with the sales, Citibank’s social network gained traction too, as the brand gained its highest fans acquired on a single day on Facebook.
4. Google’s sale, titled GOSF, was held on 12 December. 50 e-commerce websites participated in the sale. On the response received, Nitin Bawankule, industry director, e Commerce, Google India, said, “In the week prior to the actual day of the festival, we saw one million-plus footprints on GOSF.in and on the day of the festival we witnessed approximately 4,00,000 visitors in 24 hours. Over 3,50,000 transactions were made during the GOSF hours, almost a 100 per cent jump in the number of transactions.”
5. Online shopping portals seem to be happy with the response that they received from these two sales. Babyoye.com, a portal targeted at the online generation of modern Indian parents looking for the brands in the pregnancy infant-care and mother-care products and services sector, was one of the websites that participated in the sale. On the response received, Arunima Singhdeo, founder Babyoye.com, said, “We saw a spike in sales. GOSF got us more sales than Citibank’s OMG! sale, but overall we were happy with both the sales. The initiative got e commerce sites a great push, and we saw about a 70 per cent increase in new visitors. Conversion rates were also better on the days. This, inspite of users not using the coupon code provided. We strategically put a higher value of our coupon for the GOSF sale. The way Google advertised, it converted offline buyers to come online and buy. We got a 20 per cent hike on the GOSF sale day and are looking forward to the next online sale.”
- Advertising base increases, as advertisements run on participating websites
- A new TG
- More hits, awareness
- The host advertises, which benefits the participating websites