Saturday, 29 October 2011

Russians turning to online shopping more

Russians are reconsidering their shopping habits, turning from brick-and-mortar shops to online stores, as the online segment is expected to grow nearly fourfold in five years, according to experts from Higher School of Economics.

And non-store sales in general are set to double within the same period, according to a presentation prepared for the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

By 2014, non-store trade turnover is set to grow by 56 percent, HSE experts wrote, and in 2015 it is to see a further increase of 29 percent. The estimated sums are 616 billion and 793 billion rubles respectively.

The trend itself is not new -- non-store sales were on the rise even during the crisis year of 2008, although the most significant growth was before 2007. The overall non-store sales have grown by 33 percent from 2005-10, according to Rosstat and Euromonitor data.

In 2010, non-store sales were just 2.7 percent of all country’s retailing, or 394 billion rubles out of 14.4 trillion, according the presentation’s data cited by Vedomosti.

In Russia, the growth of internet retailing looks likely to continue to grow very strongly, according to Alexander Borisov, head of consumer market development committee at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

About 50 million Russians have used the Internet at least once and 94 percent of these people bought something, Borisov said at the committee’s session in July, according to its official website.

Internet sales took 49 percent of the whole non-store retailing in 2010, leaving 24 percent each to direct sales and sales through the post, and 3 percent for sales through vending machines, according to the HSE document.

This optimism, however, isn’t shared by everyone.

“We tend to trust more a conservative prognosis of annual growth of 30 percent for e-commerce,” Mikhail Osin, a representative of Russia’s biggest online store, told Vedomosti.

Another internet retailer,, also expects to see more modest results, than experts from HSE, although hopes for more than Ozon.

The Economic Development Ministry expects general retail turnover to grow by 5.3 percent in 2011, Vedomosti reported. Further increases for 2012 and 2013 are estimated at 4.9-5.5 and 4.8 – 5.3 percent respectively.

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