Report: Almost half of Russian users shop on smartphones

Nearly half of Russian online shoppers make purchases via their smartphones, but an almost equal amount distrust online payment systems, according to new research by Nielsen.

In the last six months, 44% of Russian online consumers used mobile devices to purchase goods or services at least once, according to the Nielsen survey. The global average was 38%.

According to the report, 66% of Russians use mobile devices to look up product information, 56% to compare prices and 48% to look for coupons or deals.

At the same time, Russians continue to be wary of payments via mobile devices – 36% of respondents are not sure about the safety of online banking operations and the same number don’t see the need for the service at all. Forty-one percent of respondents said they would not carry out a transfer of funds from one bank account to another from a smartphone, which is 13% lower than the global average of 24%.

Russians are less likely than residents of other nations to pay via smartphone in bars, restaurants and stores. Only 30% of Russians would take out their phone to pay in these situations, compared with 40% worldwide.

However, Russians are just as attached to their phones are their peers around the world. Fifty-five percent of Russian and 56% of global consumers cannot imagine life without mobile devices and 54% and 53%, respectively, feel anxious when a smartphone is not at hand.


Russian Online Shopping Growth

Despite the fact that just over half of Russian users are not ready to use applications for purchases, the conversion of retailers who actively use mobile applications has increased by 90% compared to those who are just beginning or planning to integrate this tool, according to research by digital advertising firm Criteo. The firm’s recent study showed that in the first half of 2016, Russia’s share of mobile transactions grew by 13%.

“Mobile commerce has reached a tipping point in its development: Now mobile transactions exceed the number of purchases made from a personal computer, as retailers continue to develop their mobile trading platforms,” said Emin Aliyev, managing director of Criteo in Russia.

According to the forecast of J’son & Partners Consulting, the market for m-commerce — mobile payments, payments for purchases and other financial transactions using mobile devices — in Russia will exceed 2 trillion rubles ($31.6 billion) by the end of 2016 and reach 2.5 trillion rubles ($39.5 billion) in 2017.

The Nielsen survey was conducted from March 1 to 23, 2016 among more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and North America. In Russia, 500 people of different income levels, living in cities with a million-plus population, were polled.


 The analysis was initially published in Russian in Kommersant. Its translation in English first appeared in Russia Beyond The Headlines, a syndication partner of East-West Digital News, and then on EWDN.