Russian eCommerce trends

I recently came across a report published by Data Insight, a Russian research agency specializing in the Russian eCommerce market. The report covers eCommerce in Russia in 2017, and contains plenty of information valuable for anyone involved in digital advertising in Russia. The report is quite long, so I’ll give you an overview of the most important points in case you don’t speak Russian or want the important facts and figures as quickly as possible.

The overall feeling of the report is quite positive. Overall online sales (inside Russia) amounted to more than 945 billion rubles (roughly 15.3 B USD). Data Insight’s own forecasts indicate that this number will increase to 111.5 B RUB (18 B USD) over the course of 2018.

If we focus our attention on the top 10 players in the Russian eCommerce market, we see a list dominated by three types of sites:

  • clothing shoes, and accessories — Wildberries, Lamoda, and bonprix
  • electronics and appliances — DNS, MVideo, Eldorado, Svyanoy
  • one-stop shop similar to Amazon — Citilink, Ozon, and Ulmart

With the exception of Ulmart, all of the top 10 players saw increases in online sales last year (with DNS reaching 61% growth) and the number of orders. Increasing the amount of the average check, however, proved far more difficult, with six out of ten companies seeing negative growth rates.

The positive trends in 2017 become even clearer when we expand our focus to the top 100 players in Russian eCommerce. Last year brought increased overall online sales and more fulfilled online orders for 90 out of 100 companies, with most of them seeing growth of more than 33%.

Data Insight’s report also pointed out other important trends in mobile device usage. In their survey, they asked respondents how they made their last purchase from an online store. Nearly 26% responded that they had used a smartphone to place the order, with 13.4% doing so via the company’s website, and 12.3% using a mobile app. Orders from laptop and desktop computers still make up the lion’s share of online orders — nearly 63%. The data show a very clear trend: smartphones are the first choice for making online purchases for users 25 years old and younger. Moreover, the more time respondents used the internet in general, the more comfortable they become making online purchases via smartphone. Perhaps most important of all, 59% of users (of all ages) now use smartphones at some point in the process of purchasing goods online.

For digital advertisers working with the Russian market, the conclusions are bright and clear. At least for the rest of this year, we can expect the Russian eCommerce market to continue growing at the same rate. And those companies who consciously invest in mobile versions of their sites, create their own apps, and target users (especially younger ones) on their mobile devices are bound to reap plenty of rewards for keeping on top of this continuing trend.