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: 8/10/2018
With over 80 million people using the internet monthly, Russia has the largest online audience in Europe and long-term growth prospects are promising.  Approximately 60% of Russian internet users shopped online in 2017, according to the Association of Internet Trade Industries (AKIT). The Russian e-commerce market is $26 billion as international players seize opportunities amid crisis. Online retail sales exceeded $26 billion in 2016, up more than 20% year-on-year, even as the Russian economy contracted. Cross-border e-commerce is the fastest growing segment (+26% by value, +80% by number of parcels and small packages), exceeding $4 billion in physical goods alone. Real-estate infrastructure has become dramatically cheaper and more accessible, and key players are taking advantage of the opportunity to build out warehousing and fulfilment facilities. Although demand still exceeds supply on the fulfilment service market, delivery conditions across this vast country have improved.

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

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
According to Yandex’s “Report on E-Commerce in Russia,” in 2016, the domestic online retail market exceeded $22 billion (including $12 billion for physical goods and $10 billon for online travel), growing by more than 20% year-on-year despite facing economic headwinds. Some western-funded companies (like KupiVip, Lamoda, and Ozon) recorded impressive growth in 2016, while others (Oktogo and Wikimart) were on the verge of bankruptcy.

B2B eCommerce
According to the Moscow Times, 68 % of Russian corporations used electronic trading platforms for procurement purposes in 2015. 
The majority of this business was associated with construction goods and services, with more than one-fifth of all purchases made in 2014 falling into this category.  Machinery and specialized products for the mining and oil-field industries was another significant source of revenue, making up 18.6% of all online B2B purchases seen on B2B-Center.
As B2B online shopping becomes more prevalent in Russia, the industry has become 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.  Russian Post’s reform initiatives were a catalyst for the emergence of several, higher quality service and shorter 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 (online and offline) retailers Otto and Svyaznoy, have developed existing logistics systems to serve the growing needs of their e-commerce branches.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
IPR resources can be found at the following site:

Popular eCommerce Sites
AKIT data shows that foreign, online stores accounted for 36% of all online purchases by Russians , amounting to 374.3 billion rubles in 2017. This marked an uptick from 2016, when  purchases from international online retailers amounted to 33% and 304 billion rubles. Online purchases from foreign suppliers accounted for almost 60% of the market’s growth.
In 2017, 90% of Russian internet purchases from foreign sellers were conducted with Chinese e-Commerce retailers. In monetary terms, these purchases 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 a 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 and this is expected to increase dramatically as mobile internet and smartphone devices growing 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:

Major Buying Holidays
Foreign retailers should consider adapting their marketing campaigns, promotions, and products for Russian New Year, Men’s Day, and International Women’s Day.  These three holidays drive a significant portion of Russian online shopping and vary from Western holidays.
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 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 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.
Russia recognizes men on February 23, which is the country’s unofficial “Men’s Day” (officially, “Day of Defenders of the Fatherland”), and celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8.  During the weeks leading up to these holidays, Russians search for a number of gifts in the cosmetic and electronics categories to recognize their friends and family members.  Combined, these three holidays represent a critically important retail period that is largely unique to the Russian market.
Beyond these holidays, Russians also utilize internet searches for Valentine’s Day gifts, wedding gifts, and birthdays.

Social Media
The number of social networks users in Russia has almost doubled over the last six years, from 35% to 59% of the Russian population 18+.  More than 90% of Russian internet users access social networks. 
The most popular social network is VKontakte. In December 2017, 65% of Russian users visited it. It is followed in current by "Odnoklassniki" which attracted 63% of Russian users. Traffic and use rankings also include Instagram (23%) and Facebook (20%). This is followed by My World (9%), Twitter (7%), LiveJournal (3%) and other networks (1%).

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