East-West Digital News is conducting an international research on Russian ecommerce with its partners ECommerce Foundation and ThePaypers.com. Foreign brands and online retailers selling to Russia or considering doing so are invited to participate in an online survey; they will receive the research report free of charge.
Earlier this month Data Insight, a specialized research agency, released its ranking of Russian ecommerce sites in 2018. Sites are ranked by sales volume (incl. VAT), number of orders and average order value as estimated by the research agency and, in certain cases, confirmed by the companies. (The ranking excludes marketplaces, which explains why AliExpress, the Alibaba subsidiary that dominates cross-border flows in Russia, is not mentioned.)
Fashion site Wildberries.ru maintained its leadership (since 2016) with sales revenues nearing $1.8 billion in 2018, up 74% from the previous year. The site is also the global leader by traffic – ahead of ASOS, H&M, Zara, Next, Uniqlo and alike, according to SimilarWeb. Forbes Russia recently estimated Wildberries’ value at $1.2 billion, making it the fourth most valuable Internet company in Russia after Yandex, Mail.ru Group, and Avito.
Three sites selling electronic appliances are ranked second, third and fifth – respectively, pure player Citilink.ru, multichannel retailer MVideo.ru and pure player DNS-Shop.ru.
Recording an impressive growth (+73%), general Internet store Ozon improved its rank from seventh place in 2016 and 2017 to fourth place in 2018.
Lamoda, a Western-owned and managed fashion site launched by Rocket Internet in 2011 (now part of Global Fashion Group) generated $463 million in sales revenues last year.
At 14%, Lamoda’s year-on-year growth is not as impressive as that of Wildberries or Ozon, but Lamoda does much better than two other Western fashion sites, Bonprix.ru (-6%, 14th place) and Witt.ru (-35%, 21st place). These are properties of Otto Group, which used to be among the leading ecommerce groups in Russia but has partially left the market. In early 2018, the German group shut down two other sites, Otto.ru and Quelle.ru.
Another loser in the 2018 ranking is KupiVip, the leading flash-sales platform backed by Western investors. The site was in the top 10 just a few years ago; it now ranks 25th, with just $107 million in estimated sales revenues, down 13% from 2017.
Even more dramatic is the fall of Ulmart.ru, due essentially to shareholder disputes. With an initially successful hybrid online-offline model, the company topped the ecommerce market in 2015; last year the company ranked 17th in sales revenues at $158 million, down 57% in one year.
On their side, Western retailers Ikea and Leroy Merlin made a noteworthy performance last year. According to Data Insight’s analysts, the Swedish DIY giant generated almost $150 million in online sales revenues (up 366% from 2017), while its French competitor made around $71 million (up 71%).
Amazon is absent from this ranking. The US giant’s sales to Russian consumers are modest, based only on a cross-border offer.
Russian ecommerce is entering a promising development cycle: Although the size of this market reached just $18 billion last year (taking into account only physical goods), its growth is accelerating, as witnessed by the performance of many players listed in Data Insight’s ranking.
In October last year Morgan Stanley predicted that the market could exceed $50 billion by 2023. But Boris Ovchinnikov, the Data Insight analyst who conducted the ranking, believes online retailers could do even better.
“Over the past year or two, the performance of many players, including both large and medium-sized sites, has been so impressive that forecasts may have to be revised upwards,” he told East-West Digital News.Growth will be pushed by massive investments made by big players. Sberbank, the state-controlled financial giant, has put half a billion US dollars in an ecommerce joint venture with Yandex, while Mail.Ru Group has teamed up with Alibaba to develop an “ecosystem” that would encompass ecommerce, social communications and gaming. (Yandex and Mail.Ru Group are listed on Western stock exchanges LSE and NASDAQ, respectively.)
Meanwhile, Ozon is investing massively in infrastructure. Its fulfilment capacity, currently at 100,000 square meters, will “at least double in 2019 and could even reach or exceed 1 million square meters in 2025,” the company’s PR director Maria Zaikina told EWDN.
This article first appeared in East-West Digital News, the international online resource on Russian digital industries, and is reprinted with permission.Favorite