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Bangalore: Despite an embarrassing glitch, the second annual Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) is giving a significant boost to sales at online retailers such as Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong and others, as shoppers flood websites attracted by massive discounts.

GOSF is an online discount sales event organized by Google Inc., which launched it last year. Some 240 websites took part in GOSF this year compared with 90 last year.

The event was supposed to run for three days from 11-13 December, compared with one day last year. Because of higher-than-expected traffic, the GOSF site was not operational for at least 12 hours on 11 December, so Google and online retailers extended the event through 14 December.

“At midnight on the 11th itself (the day it started), we saw a huge surge of traffic, with people queuing up and waiting for the GOSF site to go live. So, I would say this was a combination of a huge traffic surge plus added to that there were some technical glitches," said Nitin Bawankule, industry director of e-commerce, Google India.

However, since GOSF was extensively marketed by Google and online retailers, many shoppers visited the sites directly. On average, sites were offering discounts of 30-35% on clothes, shoes and apparel, while prices for cellphones, tablets and other electronics were off by 10%.

“There were many people buying a lot of different kind of products. Clearly there’s a lot of impulse buying," said Arun Sirdeshmukh, chief executive at online retailer Fashionara.com. “Consumers tend to break their usual barriers during sales. They know the sale will last only for a limited time."

At least 10 online retailers Mint spoke to said they saw sales increase by over 100% during GOSF, compared with the rest of the year.

India had over 205 million Internet users in October, and the number is likely to reach 213 million by the end of this year, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International in November.

Myntra’s traffic grew about two times, and revenues some 3.5 times over GOSF, versus the preceding few days, marketing chief Vikas Ahuja said.

Snapdeal, which is offering discounts of 10-60%, is seeing an increase of 10 times in sales during GOSF, said Sandeep Komaravelly, vice-president of marketing.

Yebhi.com has seen sales double during GOSF while Jabong is reporting an increase of four-five times. “GOSF much longer than last year, so people are getting to see a lot of different offers on so many products. Brand awareness for GOSF is much higher this time than last time," said Manu Kumar Jain, managing director at Jabong.com. “To a minor extent there was an impact from the glitch, because on the first day we saw a huge amount of traffic from the GOSF site, so our sales would’ve been much higher if the glitch hadn’t happened."

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