Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 8/14/2019

Retail e-Commerce sales in Russia have grown by 20% or more annually for the past seven years, according to  yStats.com, one of the world’s leading secondary market research companies.  Continued annual growth is projected to decline, but remain in the double-digits . The Russian e-commerce market has reached 1.4 trillion rubles, according to AKIT (Association of Internet Trade Industries). The main driver of market growth in 2018 was an increase in both the number of customers and online activity of the population. Although demand still exceeds supply in the fulfilment service market, delivery conditions across the country have improved.

According to yStats.com, the largest product category of Russian e-Commerce sales is electronics and appliances, followed by clothing and footwear. Retail e-Commerce sales of food and groceries are forecasted to outpace the rest of the market by 2022. The competition in this market segment is already intensifying, as the leading food retailers launch online supermarkets and the top online entities venture into the grocery segment.

Cross-border e-Commerce is the top trend in Russia’s online retail market. According to the yStats.com report, the share of imported retail e-Commerce sales has more than doubled since 2011, comprising more than one-third of total e-Commerce sales in 2017. Online shoppers in Russia are price-sensitive, and make more than 50% of their online purchases using product discounts and special offers.

This growth has been driven in large part by Chinese companies – most notably Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Aliexpress.ru – but key western players including Amazon, ASOS, Next and YOOX are also well represented.

In 2019, the turnover of e-Commerce in Russia could exceed 1.8 trillion rubles, according to AKIT (the Russian Association of Internet Trade Companies).

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
According to the Russian Association for Electronic Communications, almost two-thirds of the domestic e-Commerce increase was driven by Wildberries and Ozon (with an estimated increase of 70-80% in 2018). Wildberries was projected to earn ₱120 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2018, a surge of 74% year-on-year (last available data). Ozon.ru projected to grow 70-80% to ₱70 billion ($1.1 billion) in revenue last year (last available data).

The online purchase of groceries and food delivery is anticipated to be the leading category of products purchased through B2C e-Commerce in Russia in 2019.

B2B eCommerce
According to the Moscow Times, about 70% of Russian corporations report using electronic trading platforms for procurement purposes. The majority of this business was associated with construction goods and services.  Machinery and specialized products for the mining and oil-field industries were another significant source of revenue.
As B2B online shopping becomes more prevalent in Russia, the industry has become more tightly regulated. Transactions made through B2B e-commerce platforms are legally binding due to the large financial value of these purchases.  Procurement procedures, especially for state-run entities, face strict legal requirements.

eCommerce Services
Russia's vast landmass presents logistical challenges for e-Commerce outside of major metropolitan areas.  However, delivery options have improved significantly over the past few years. The Russian Post’s recent reform initiatives were a catalyst for the emergence of several, higher quality services that shortened delivery time to large and mid-sized cities across the country.

Meanwhile, purely online enterprises such as KupiVIP, Lamoda, Ozon and Ulmart have deployed their own warehousing and delivery processing facilities across the country.  Others, like multi-channel retailers Otto and Svyaznoy, have developed existing logistics systems to serve the growing needs of their e-commerce branches.

eCommerce and Intellectual Property Rights
IPR resources can be found at the following site:  https://www.stopfakes.gov/article?id=Russia-IPR-Resources

Popular eCommerce Sites
AKIT data shows that foreign eCommerce websites accounted for 36% of all online purchases by Russians, amounting to 374.3 billion rubles ($5.9 billion) in 2017. Online purchases from foreign suppliers accounted for almost 60% of the market’s growth.

Another growing trend in Russian e-Commerce is ordering from international websites. Imported goods constituted one-third of the total online sales volume in 2018. Most of this international shopping is done on Chinese websites such as AliExpress.ru, which garnered four times more traffic than Russia's leading domestic online merchant, Wildberries.ru. In 2017, 90% of Russian internet purchases from foreign sellers were conducted with Chinese e-Commerce retailers. In monetary terms, these purchases from foreign sellers account for 53% of the market. The Aliexpress website had the largest audience: 20 million people in 2017. The average purchase total from Aliexpress by Russian shoppers was 980 rubles (approx. $16).
The most popular B2C Russian online shops are:

Online Payments
Cash-on-delivery (COD) is the preferred medium of exchange for physical goods and will likely remain so for some time; however, the use of electronic payments is slowly increasing.

In addition to bank cards, several new solutions are appearing on the market and some of them are intended to create universal payment mechanisms.  Large segments of the electronic payment market are led by domestic players, from payment terminal operators to mobile carriers, and electronic currency companies.

Mobile eCommerce
There are more than 8.5 million mobile shoppers in Russia, and this is expected to increase dramatically as 4G mobile internet expands, and smartphone devices grow in popularity across Russia.

Digital Marketing
The amount and frequency of searches for a product or service should be analyzed prior to launching a campaign in Russia.  Complementing Google Trends, Yandex can support search-engine optitimization efforts:  wordstat.yandex.ru

Major Buying Holidays
Foreign retailers should consider marketing campaigns, promotions, and products for the New Year, Men’s Day (Defender of the Fatherland Day, February 23), and International Women’s Day (March 8).  These three holidays drive a significant portion of Russian online shopping. Combined, these holidays represent a critically important, early calendar-year retail period that is largely unique to the Russian market.

Over the past few years, some Russians started participating in Black Friday weekend sales to kick off the winter holiday shopping season – but the vast majority of Russian shoppers make their purchases throughout December for the traditional Russian gift-giving day on January 1.  Indeed, many last-minute shoppers are still making purchases in late December in Russia, when Westerners have already returned/exchanged holiday gifts.  A third of Russian holiday shoppers turn to the Internet for gift ideas and to make these purchases; 14% of shoppers search online, but then conduct purchases in stores.

Social Media
The number of social network users in Russia has almost doubled over the last six years, from 35% to 59% of the Russian population aged 18+.  More than 90% of Russian Internet users access social networks.  The most active social media platforms are YouTube (85%), VKontakte (83%) and WhatsApp (59%).

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Russia eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce