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.

More than 143.7 million people live in Russia, which makes it the 9th biggest country in the world. Slightly more than 45% of all Russian people are between 25 and 54 years old. In early 2014, 59% 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 €21.6 billion (predicted for 2016)
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% of all domestic purchases made online are cash-on-delivery, according to SPSR Express.

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

In 2013, according to InSales, the largest product categories in Russian ecommerce were (ranked in order): household appliances and consumer electronics, clothes and shoes, computers and notebooks, car spare parts, mobile phones, furniture and interior, B2B equipment and construction materials. Note that for example car spare parts (€355.7 million) is a way more popular product category in Russia than books and DVDs (€89 million). SPSR Express states that electronics and fashion represent 57% of total online spending.

According to information from Ecommerce Foundation, the most popular product group in Russian ecommerce is still clothing, followed by IT, shoes & lifestyle, media & entertainment and telecom. With regards to online services, travel is by far the most popular online service group in Russia.

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 organization 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.

Big online stores in Russia

The biggest player in the Russian market is, with a diversified assortment from electronics to items for the 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, group buying platform Biglion, platform Avito and the online properties of the German Otto Group. Data Insight and Ruward published a top 100 of online stores in Russia.

Latest news about Russia

Alibaba launches Tmall in Russia

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba will launch its online b2c marketplace Tmall in Russia, sources say. Currently, the service is in test mode, but it should become fully operational somewhere next month. It will be launched within the AliExpress platform.

Ecommerce in Russia to be worth 16 billion euros in 2017

Ecommerce in Russia was worth 498 billion rubles, or 7.2 billion euros, in the first half of this year. This is an increase of 22 percent year-on-year. The Russian online retail industry is expected to be worth 15.99 billion euros at the end of this year.

Ulmart plans to start accepting bitcoin

Ulmart, the biggest online retailer of Russia, has announced it has plans to start accepting bitcoin as one of the payment methods. When things go through, the popular crypto currency will be accepted on Ulmart starting the first of September later this year.

Ecommerce software solution NopCommerce: unknown but not unloved

NopCommerce is not a very well-known provider of ecommerce software. Still, the company has clients such as Volvo, BMW and even the unmatched singer Céline Dion. Ecommerce News Europe interviewed Alexandra Lykova, the marketing manager of this Russian ecommerce software solution.

Ecommerce in Russia was worth €14.85 billion in 2016

The ecommerce industry in Russia was worth 920 billion rubles, which is about 14.85 billion euros, in 2016. This is an increase of 20 percent when compared to the year before. Estimates are ecommerce in Russia will reach 1 trillion rubles (16.14 billion euros) at the end of this year.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Russia.

Last update: September 2016. Thanks to: East-West Digital News.