E-commerce in Russia 101: key information to consider

Tips for foreign sellers: market differences, delivery preferences and logistics, 2019 market leaders and trends

In this summary article we link to the e-commerce posts of interest to foreign sellers previously published by Russian Search Marketing, as well as to information that might be useful for developing your launch strategy for Russia. While no one can predict what the future will bring, having an overview of the trends and key market differences can help you prioritize research before making a decision to start selling your products on the Russian market.

Russian e-commerce market: key differences for foreign sellers

In this post, we summarize an article comparing US and Russian e-commerce markets. Among the differences mentioned in it: selling through social media, return policies, and prevalence of e-commerce.

Discover other differences and how to use them to promote your products on the Russian market.

Russian online shopping: foreign stores vs local stores

In this article from 2017, you’ll get an overview of how purchases were different across local and foreign e-commerce stores, see which products Russians like to buy from local stores, and which products are more desirable when they come from abroad (with 2 categories: China and “other”).

The breakdown by “China” and “other” should not come as a surprise: Chinese companies are likely to remain a strong presence in Russia, especially after the recent JV deal between Alibaba, Mail.ru, and Megafon.

Read more about the top online purchases and the share of Russian and foreign e-commerce stores here.

Local Russian payment systems

This article from 2014 presents payment systems that are popular in Russia. Worth a look if you’re looking for ways to remove some barriers to purchase for your Russian audience.

It’s also important to note that Russians have slightly different preferences in terms of payments: as recently as last year, 70% of online orders were paid for in cash, according to this article. It’s unlikely that COD will remain the most popular payment method in Russia. All the more reason to familiarize yourself with local payment systems.

Russian e-commerce delivery preferences

Just as with payment methods, delivery options in Russia differ slightly from what one might expect for e-commerce in Western countries.

For example, pick-up centers have been quite popular, with online marketplaces such as Ozon opening multiple locations. In this article you’ll find a breakdown of delivery preferences for Russian cities of different sizes, as well as online payment preferences for 2016.

For a more in-depth look at the popularity of different delivery options across specific towns and cities in Russia, refer to this article showing a breakdown for this information based on 2016 data.

Russian e-commerce in 2019

For a more recent overview of statistics, you can refer to this post summarizing Data Insight findings for 2019, with information on e-commerce activity levels across Russian regions, information on the growth factors affecting the e-commerce market, and a list of the top 10 Russian e-commerce stores and apps.

You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get new information about the Russian e-commerce market.