3 lessons from the Russia 2020 report

Russia is a rapidly developing and increasingly important market for ecommerce, with huge opportunities on the horizon – especially for retailers and brands that can connect with Russia’s growing middle class. 

For those who are up for the challenge, we have extracted three helpful lessons from our RetailX Russia 2020 report (now FREE to all retailers!) to get you started: 

1. Russia is logging on to the digital world 

Internet usage has steadily increased over the years, thanks to the younger middle class residents of Russia, who are desperate for the country’s infrastructure to hurry on up into the 21st century so they can get on ASOS…

On the other hand, perhaps these tech-savvy millennials should cut Russia some slack, considering it only began to modernise its collapsed economy around the same time the internet began to thrive in the West. With this in mind, the country’s uptake of technology has been pretty spectacular. 

By 2019, the former Soviet Union had 83% of its population using the internet, while projections for the end of 2020 put it as high as 85%. This would put the country on a par with the US, UK and other advanced digital economies.

2. Virtual baskets are filling up: now is the time to launch your business in Russia 

Thanks to the middle-class youngsters driving digitisation, it is forecast that last year will have seen more people than ever shopping online in Russia (46%). As if that wasn’t enough good news for retailers, internet penetration is predicted to reach 45.3% in 2021, increasing to 50.4% by 2025.

This ecommerce growth is also, of course, a by-product of the pandemic which has encouraged masses of people – old and young – to shop online, all around the world.  In fact, we found that the average spend per Russian consumer hit $494.70 this year after bumping along at around $420 since 2015. However, when thrown into contrast with the average US online shopper, who spends around $2,773, it is safe to say there is still a long way to go before Russia catches up with most mature online markets…

3. If you want to sell in Europe’s biggest country, make sure your website has good reviews

Shifting our focus to consumer habits, RetailX found that a hefty 68% of Russian online shoppers will research a company before going through with a purchase. For multichannel and ecommerce retailers, this means upping your game when it comes to website accessibility and glowing customer reviews – which a further 67% of consumers said they take notice of. 

Also, check your website is smartphone-friendly (generally a good idea anyway) to ensure you’re not missing out on those all important 37% of PGH (phone-glued-to-hand) customers. 

Lastly, keep your product images up-to-date and complete with descriptions for those 34% that prefer to visually try before they buy! 

We hope you found this information useful and who knows – perhaps your business will take off in Russia in the near future. Happy selling!

For more information about this developing market, download our Russia 2020 report now. 


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