According to eCommerce News Europe, the Russian Post and Russian Railways signed a deal at the end of last week for railway deliveries of parcels between China and Europe as the first ever transport corridor between the two areas for small parcels. Slower delivery times tend to create some lag in the Russian eCommerce scene but this new deal promises to improve average time online shoppers are waiting for their purchases.
The deal is not necessarily in response to the increased cross border sales but comes at a time where there has been significant growth in the market. Based on stats from eCommerce News Europe, the Russian post has handled 98.7 million international shipments the first half of this year, which is double the amount it handled during the same time period last year.
eCommerce in Russia and more so cross border sales in Russia has continued to increase over the past few years. Based on eMarketer research, of the 83 million Russian Internet users, over half are digital buyers and 62% of these Russian eCommerce shoppers are making cross border purchases. From the selection to the quality of products, Russians are drawn to foreign eRetailers for a number of reasons but sometimes report being discouraged due to concerns over the delivery of their parcels. Cash on delivery tends is therefore the most common way to get a package in Russia.
Oleg Belozerov of the Russian Railway explained that the deal should enhance Russian eCommerce even more by reducing the time of parcels in transit and reduce costs compared to other shipment methods. As an alternative to air delivery, the new deal will add more options for shipping to help suppliers reduce costs. Typically, Russian eCommerce players offer customers free shipment methods, which has created the expectations moving forward. The new deal will help reduce costs for suppliers, it will create more eCommerce options coming both to and from China and Europe through Russia.