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eCommerce in Russia : Capturing Double-digit Growth Takes More than Business Model Copy-Paste, Frost & Sullivan

  • January 2015
  • 56 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2621256


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

•With Russia having become the largest national Internet audience in Europe, eCommerce has reached a tipping point, growing at annual rates of x % to x % in recent years. Further expected Internet penetration and a low eCommerce share in overall retail imply significant growth potential.
•Despite ongoing progress, the most significant eCommerce challenges remain the underdeveloped Russian logistics systems and service environment, slow uptake of ePayments, shoppers’ lack of trust in stores without a physical presence, and a lack of qualified workforce.
•Russian business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce reached a value of approximately RUB x trillion in 2013, a year-over-year increase of about x %. As eCommerce is eating into offline retail sales, convergence towards hybrid/multichannel retail is evident. eCommerce is expected to be significantly more dynamic than the overall economy.
•Cross-border trade has been rising sharply, despite rouble devaluation. Increasingly high-growth Chinese vendors and the AliExpress platform are decoupling from l ower-growth Western shops. Tax-free cross-border shipment allowances are likely to remain nonrestrictive.
•Rather than blindly “copy-paste” Western business models, the key to success lies in picking elements of functional best practice and adapting and reconfiguring them to fit the Russian environment. OZON.ru and Otto Group are x examples of leading participants that have build superior operations capabilities that are transforming the industry.


This Frost & Sullivan research service provides the reader with an overview and analysis of the current state and key trends in Russian eCommerce. Scope
•This research service mainly focuses on companies active in B2C eCommerce in Russia.
•Selective attention is given to enablers of customer-facing eCommerce stores.
•The focus is on physical goods retail, and includes travel.
•Focus is not virtual goods.


•The research service is mainly based on secondary, desk research and integrates a variety of existing sources into an original perspective on B2C eCommerce in Russia.
•The main secondary sources include presentations by participants of Russian eCommerce, and studies by industry associations and other market observers.
•Further insights stem from multiple discussions with participants in the Russian eCommerce environment and attendance of related conferences to provide a multi-angle perspective.
•The main research was conducted between April and July 2014.

Introduction to eCommerce Environment in Russia

Over the last few years, Russia and other developing countries have seen eCommerce gain traction as the number of Internet users reached critical mass. Both online-only shops and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have been building their online presence.
In 2013, the Russian eCommerce market reached a value of over RUB x billion, a year-on-year increase of approximately x %. Purchases of physical goods accounted for about x % of the market value. Cross-border sales accounted for about x %.
In a wider context, eCommerce remains nascent—accounting for just x to x % of the overall Russian retail market. This goes hand-in-hand with a high degree of fragmentation: the number of companies selling online in Russia increased from x to x in 2013, but less than x of these firms generated revenue of more than RUB 4 billion (resulting in a large number of competitors with low single-digit market shares). Companies that are frequently cited as being amongst the eCommerce leaders include OZON.ru, KupiVIP, Wikimart, Ulmart, and Svyaznoy.

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