Online pharmacies in Russia in 2019

Data Insight report on Russian e-commerce stores selling over-the-counter drugs

In their new report, Data Insight experts present their data on the sales of online pharmacies. This report excludes sales of pharmaceuticals by online marketplaces, sales of glasses and contact lenses, as well as sales of non-medical health products, including dietary supplements.

In 2019, online pharmacies saw a striking growth rate of 90% (compared to 2018), both in sales volume and number of sales.

The data is based on information from 56 online pharmacies included in the top 1000 Russian e-commerce stores rating (Russian Search Marketing recently covered 2019 e-commerce market segment trends in this post) based on the number of orders made in 2019.

For those stores, the research doesn’t take into account orders made through third-party apps or services.

Online pharmacies in Russia in 2019: key findings

  • orders in online pharmacies in 2019: 51.6 million
  • total order value for 2019: 86.3 billion rubles
  • average order value in 2019: 1,570 rubles
  • online pharmacies market share of the Russian e-commerce market by number of orders: 12%
  • growth in number of orders over 2018: 98%
  • average conversion rate for online pharmacies: 21.7%
  • mobile traffic for this segment: 60%

Online pharmacies market segment in 2019

As mentioned above, the average order value in 2019 was 1,570 rubles, which is 3% lower than in 2018.

At the same time, the number of sales grew by 98% compared to 2018, and the sales volume (in rubles) grew by 92%.

Online pharmacies market segment growth in 2019

Online pharmacies market segment growth in 2019. Source: Data Insight

Online pharmacies market segment: top stores in Russia in 2019

Top 10 online pharmacies in Russia in 2019

In 2019, a hefty 40% of online orders were placed through Apteka.ru.

Apteka.ru homepage screenshot

Apteka.ru homepage screenshot. Source: https://apteka.ru/

Looking beyond Apteka.ru, here is what the top 3 ranking for online pharmacies looked like:

  1. Apteka.ru
  2. Apteka-ot-sklada.ru
  3. Eapteka.ru

The remaining 7 online pharmacies in the top 10 for this market segment are listed in alphabetical order:

Location of top 56 online pharmacies in Russia in 2019

Out of 56 online pharmacies that were included in the Data Insight top 1000 rating for 2019, 45% are located in Moscow and Moscow region.

The breakdown across Russian regions is as follows:

  • 45% – Moscow and Moscow region
  • 27% – Eastern part of Russia (Far East, Ural and Siberia)
  • 23% – European part of Russia (with 16% located in the Volga Federal District)
  • 5% – Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region
Share of online pharmacies in Russia by location, %

Share of online pharmacies in Russia by location. Source: Data Insight

User behavior and app usage for online purchases of over-the-counter medicines in Russia in 2019

In 2019, 60% of website visitors looking for online pharmacies were using mobile devices. Out of the online pharmacies included in the report, 61% had apps on Google Play, and 55% on the App Store.

The most popular app belongs to the market leader, Apteka.ru, with over 1 million downloads on Google Play.

Online pharmacies in 2019: key online marketing channels

Online pharmacies get more click-throughs for organic search results than the average for e-commerce stores.

Not including direct traffic, other sources do not bring in significant amounts of traffic (14% compared to 33% for the Russian e-commerce market on average).

Online pharmacies in Russia: traffic sources comparison

Online pharmacies in Russia: traffic sources comparison. Source: Data Insight

However, the low rate of click-throughs from social media doesn’t mean that online pharmacies are not on social – or that they don’t have an audience on those channels.

The most popular social media platform for this sector is VKontakte (61% of pharmacies present). Out of those, 41% of pharmacies have between 1,001 and 10,000 followers, with 18% having between 10,001 and 100,000 followers.

The second-most-popular social media platform is Instagram, where 59% of online pharmacies have accounts. Similar to VKontakte, the channel doesn’t seem to be underperforming based on the number of followers: 32% of online pharmacies have 1,001–10,000 followers. and 20% have 10,001–100,000 followers.

Facebook, while popular among online pharmacies (48% of stores in this segment are present on Facebook), doesn’t seem to be as effective in attracting subscribers as the first two social media platforms. Only 7% of companies manage to get 10,001–100,000 followers there.

The three least popular social media platforms with the lowest numbers of followers are Odnoklassniki, YouTube, and Twitter.

Online pharmacies in Russia: social media presence in 2019

Online pharmacies in Russia: social media presence in 2019. Source: Data Insight

For additional information about online purchases of OTC drugs, refer to this Russian Search Marketing article.