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Russia among the fastest growing B2C E-Commerce markets in Europe

According to findings in the new report “Russia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017” from yStats.com, Russia is among the regional leaders in terms of online retail growth. The secondary market research firm from Hamburg, Germany, cites market statistics indicating that B2C E-Commerce sales in Russia grew by a strong double-digit rate in 2016. Driven by factors including increased Internet and online shopper penetration rates, as well as key market trends such as mobile and cross-border E-Commerce, online retail sales in Russia could set new records in 2017.

Russia ranks both among the largest and the fastest growing B2C E-Commerce markets in Europe by 2016 results. According to market data cited in this report by yStats.com, online retail sales in Russia resumed a strong double-digit growth rate last year, recovering from weaker sales development in 2015. Among the factors that led to this growth were the improved Internet and online shopper penetration rates, a higher frequency of online buying, but also increased prices both in online and offline retail. The outlook for 2017 remains positive: the key trends of mobile and cross-border purchases, the openness especially of younger consumers to buying from online stores, along with the emergence of new online buyers in non-central regions and rural areas, are projected to drive further market growth.

The largest proportion of Russia’s online shoppers are young, with under 35 year-olds accounting for more than one-half of digital buyers in 2016, according to statistics included in yStats.com’s report. Furthermore, online shopper penetration is the highest in top cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg and the related areas, while remote regions and rural population lag behind. Overall, less than one-quarter of the country’s population made purchases online in 2016 and only a small one-digit share of retail sales stemmed from E-Commerce. These figures indicate that there is still much room for growth in Russia’s online retail.

Among the strongest market trends are the rise of mobile and cross-border online shopping. More than 50% of Russia’s Internet users went online via mobile phones in 2016, and many of them used their devices to research and also purchase products, with clothes, shoes, and goods for children as the leading category. As for cross-border, an increasingly important role is played by Chinese E-Commerce platforms, such as AliExpress, which Russian online shoppers turn to for a wide product range and low prices. Despite this strong competition, some domestic E-Commerce leaders such as online clothing retailers Wildberries and Lamoda, and electronics sellers Eldorado and Mvideo achieved an online sales growth rate above the market’s average.