Russia’s e-commerce market continued to grow at double-digit rates last year even as offline retail was severely affected by the economic crisis. Such are the findings of a comprehensive study conducted by analysts at East-West Digital News (EWDN).
According to a recent EWDN report, online sales in 2016 exceeded $26bn, growing more than 20% year-on-year. Included in this figure are some $16bn for physical goods and $10bn for online travel.
The cross-border segment is the fastest growing, up 26% by value and 80% by number of parcels and small packages, and exceeded $4bn for physical goods alone.
The growth of this segment has been driven in large part by Chinese companies, most notably Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Aliexpress.ru; but key western players, including Amazon, Asos, Next and Yoox, are also in the game.
“Russia remains a land of opportunity for e-retailers, despite the economic headwinds that have faced the country in recent years,” said Adrien Henni, Editor-in-Chief of EWDN.
“Challenging market conditions have shaken up the e-commerce sector, and the companies that emerge leaner and stronger are well placed to dominate the industry for years to come. In the medium-to-long term, Russia is set to become one of the largest online retail markets in Europe,” the expert added.