Have you considered Russia as your next e-commerce market? Russia offers a surprising amount of potential to online retailers, as revealed by Ecommerce Europe’s new country report, sponsored by Asendia.
With a large and relatively young population, Russia offers unique e-commerce opportunities. The median age is 39.1 years and 72.4% of the total population is under 55 years of age. 121.6 million people over the age of 15 live in Russia, demonstrating the sheer size of the potential market. Interestingly, only 70% of Russians use the Internet and just 25% shop online, showing that the market is still emerging and therefore has a lot of potential.
Russia is a highly individual market, so research is key. For instance, Russia’s currency is the Ruble and the unemployment rate is significantly below the European average. Also, while Russian is the official language, German, English, and French are widely spoken. It is also important to consider how Internet use is spread throughout the federation: as major cities, Moscow and St Petersburg account for more than half of all cross-border purchases, while Internet penetration is much lower in more remote, rural parts of the country.
Also, if you decide to market your online business through social media, consider the local social media platforms VK and Odnoklassniki, which are used by 39% and 32% of Internet users respectively, along with Facebook. Just 11% of Russian Internet users are on Twitter, suggesting that this should not be your priority when it comes to directly engaging with potential customers.
Alexey Loginov, Business Intelligence Manager at Asendia, provides some tips to entering the Russian e-commerce market, including:
- Cash-on-delivery is still a key payment method in Russia, alongside electronic payment methods
- Logistical challenges are an issue in Russia, but the focus is now on ‘stable, reliable delivery’
- Consider partnering with local businesses to help you reach your target consumers
Want to discover more about the Russian e-commerce market? Download the full Russia B2C E-commerce Report 2016 here.