Russia is a fast-growing online market, with over 100 mln online users.
In 2019, the e-commerce market turnover in Russia accounted for about 28 bln EUR, with Russia being listed among the top-five fastest growing online markets. (source). In this article we give a brief overview of the e-commerce market in Russia within the past year, focusing on the most popular product categories and online shopping trends in Russia.
Russian e-commerce Market in 2019:
In Nov 2019, the B2C e-commerce sector in Russia was evaluated to have had 425 mln orders with an average purchase of 3 800 RUB / ≈ 50 €. The total income for B2C e-commerce businesses was estimated to be 1 620 bln RUB ( ≈ 20 bln EUR). At the same time, Russia’s most popular e-commerce marketplaces reported that both, the amount of orders and the income, had more than doubled in 2019, compared the previous year.
Over 40% of Russians (aged 16-55) made purchases online. A third of them placed the latest order from a mobile device. Most consumers choose online shopping in order to save time, to be able to compare different products and to read reviews before making a decision. The latter two reasons also support the growing popularity of marketplaces, such as Ozon or Wildberries.
The most popular products bought online in Russia in 2019 were:
– Clothes and shoes (46 %)
– Body care products (43 %)
– Perfumes and cosmetics (37 %)
– Vitamines and supplements (35 %)
– Phones, tablets, accessories (35 %)
– Toys and crafts materials (35 %)
– Small home appliances (35 %)
March 2020 has changed the trends to an even bigger favour of e-commerce
With the self-isolation and “April off work” declared by the Russian President, Russia sees a significant increase in web traffic and also, unsurprisingly, in e-commerce. In March the traffic to e-commerce websites has been growing weekly by 11 %, according to one of Russia’s biggest network providers (source).
Ozon has noticed that the amount of items in an order has doubled from 3-4 to 7-8 in average, when compared to the same time last year. Wildberries has also noticed double growth in sales in March, but has accredited it towards the planned business development, rather than to any changes in the digital space (source).
The demand for certain product categories has changed significantly as a result of self-isolation. Staying at home Russians choose to make renovations (+300 % spike in interest), play video games and watch movies (+200% spike in interest), play board games (150 % spike in interest), put some extra time in their hobbies such as sports and crafts (+120 % spike in interest each), and also read books (+110 % spike in interest).
In addition to that there has been an increase in interest towards food delivery (+46 %), online pharmacies (+45 %) and home cleaning products (+40 %). (Source: WebCanape)
Trends for Russian e-commerce for 2020
Most experts in Russian e-commerce agree that the current increase in online shopping among Russians will not be lost after the situation stabilises. Moreover, some predict that there will be another peak of demand after the corona crisis, especially for bigger purchases that people have set aside for now.
Marketplaces, like Ozon and Wildberries, will get an even stronger position in the market, continuing their growth and development. As people prefer to compare products and prices online, read reviews and save time buying everything in one click, marketplaces provide everything the consumer might need while building bigger customer bases, attracting new sellers and expanding product range.
Another noticed trend that will most likely continue to develop is social e-commerce, e.g. buying and selling via messengers and social media. In 2018 the total turnover for social e-commerce in Russia was 591 bln RUB (≈ 7 bln EUR). The model is being actively used not only for C2C, but also for B2C sales, with VKontakte being the most popular platform and tool for it. (source)
With more opportunities and ever-growing demand, it is also expected that the Russian e-commerce market will become more competitive, and Russian consumers, in turn, more demanding towards added value that sellers can offer, such as information and customer support. Those who enter the market early enough will have the advantage of having built loyal customer base and a reputation in the market.
Flying Lynx can help your business to have products listed on Ozon, one of the biggest Russian online marketplaces, within a week. Contact us for more details.