Russia’s e-commerce market continued to grow at double-digit rates last year. As any global player will tell you, online retailers need to adjust for each individual market and Russia is no different. In order to successfully transition into a foreign market, it is important to take note of common retail habits and preferences and devices to understand how to best capitalize on opportunities in each market.   This blog covers those topics by referencing eMarketer’s recent report on retail ecommerce platforms in Russia.

What Russians are purchasing online:

The most popular product purchased online by Russians is travel related with over 50% of surveyed shoppers indicating they book more travel online than offline. Historically travel agents have been very popular for booking travel in Russia.  The market has seen a major shift thanks to a number of new online options for booking travel in a more convenient and cost-effective way.

The second most popular product is Tickets for events, which prevents the users from some of the common practices of waiting in line at box offices since there are fewer phone purchase options.  Users prefer easy options for browsing schedules and downloading mobile tickets through local platforms like  Yandex.Afisha.

Ultimately, the online option for booking travel or planning to get tickets for an event makes for a much easier and fluid shopping process. When it comes to physical items, household items and produce are still primarily purchased in stores but Russians are slowly relying more on the internet for purchasing physical items such as electronics, clothing, and cosmetics.  Despite a rapidly growing online shopping industry, there is significant room for growth in the Russian eCommerce market with room for more internet penetration and the growing transition to move shopping habits online.

Russian Platform Preferences for shopping online:

Aside from understanding the shopping habits of Russian users, understanding their device choice once they go online will help you modify ad campaigns and your landing pages. Laptops are the most popular devices used to make digital purchases according to 70% of the country’s online buyers surveyed by PayPal and Data Insight in February of 2017.  Combined desktop and laptop shopping outweighs mobile shopping: 37% of respondents use a laptop, while 33% use a desktop computer. Smartphones are used by 22% of shoppers, followed by only 8% using a tablet.  Compared to other markets, Russia still relies heavily on more traditional online shopping but is adopting mobile options.