Ecommerce in Russia

Information about ecommerce in RussiaRussia is, what its situation in Europe is concerned, a stranger in our midst. It’s part European, it’s part Asian, but above all it’s Russia. It is one of those countries that together with the United States, China and the United Kingdom dominate international politics, economy and sports.

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More than 143.7 million people live in Russia, which makes it the 9th biggest country in the world. Slightly more than 45 percentof all Russian people are between 25 and 54 years old. In early 2014, 59 percent of the adult population (69 million people) had access to the Internet, making Russia Europe’s number one in terms of Internet users.

Population 143.7 million people
– % internet users 59%
Online sales €14.2 billion (2017)
Online stores worth mentioning: Ozon, Ulmart, KupiVIP


Ecommerce customers in Russia

Russian consumers generally distrust the safety of online transactions and, in certain cases, the honesty of online retailers. That’s why cash on delivery is the main payment method (around 80%), as far as physical goods are concerned. Bank cards aren’t used very often for purchases even in brick and mortar stores, but online it also represents a low part of total online consumer spending. The most popular local electronic currencies are Yandex Money, Webmoney and the QIWI Wallet. PayPal began serving domestic transactions only in late 2013. 93 percent of all domestic purchases made online are cash-on-delivery, according to SPSR Express.

In 2017, Statista asked Russian shoppers how they have conducted online payments in the last twelve months. ‘Online payment’ was answered by 59 percent of respondents, while credit card (39 percent), cash in advance (35 percent) and paying by invoice (also 35 percent) are other popular online payment methods in Russia.

Online payment methods in Russia, according to Payvision.
Online payment methods in Russia, according to Payvision.

According to information from Ecommerce Foundation in 2018, the most popular product categories (in terms of turnover) in Russia are household appliances & electronics, clothing & footwear and computer, notebooks & computer parts. When asked what kind of products consumers mostly order online, electronics, clothing and household appliances are the most given answers.

The ecommerce market in Russia

According to Moscow’s Data Insight, Russia has a 10.4 billion euro ecommerce market in 2013, up 27 percent from 2012. This represented a mere 2% of the total retail market. Morgan Stanley forecasts the Russian ecommerce sector to grow 35% annually to 2015, reaching 4.5% of total retail sales. According to East-West Digital News, the Russian ecommerce sector could grow to 35 billion to 50 billion euros by the end of this decade and exceed 75 billion euros in ten years. There are always different ways to calculate the total ecommerce value of a country: some organizations don’t count travel expenses, while others also include online gambling or tourism. That’s why Ecommerce Foundation has released totally different numbers. It states the ecommerce in Russia was worth 20.5 billion euros in 2015 and is predicted to reach 21.6 billion euros in 2016.

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Big online stores in Russia

The biggest player in the Russian market is Ulmart.ru, with a diversified assortment from electronics to items for home and garden. Its 2015 turnover reached an estimated 510 billion euros. Among the other important players are Ozon, which can be seen as a Russian equivalent of Amazon, KupiVIP (a copycat of Venteprivee.com), group buying platform Biglion, platform Avito and the online properties of the German Otto Group.

Several Turkish ecommerce companies have also entered the Russian market. Among them are Hepsiburada, N11.com, and Ziylan Group, with support from Bringly, the new cross-border platform launched by Yandex. Data Insight and Ruward published a top 100 of online stores in Russia.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Russia.

Last update: July 2019. Thanks to: East-West Digital News.