Russian e-commerce recorded one of the world’s highest growth rates in 2020

Russian e-commerce recorded one of the world’s highest growth rates in 2020
Russian e-commerce had domestic sales in physical goods of $37bn, up 58% y/y. / wiki
By Adrien Henni in Moscow for East West Digital News June 1, 2021

Specialised research agency Data Insight has just released the international version of its Russian e-commerce report for 2020. Domestic sales of physical goods amounted to RUB2.7 trillion (some $37bn at the average exchange rate of the year), up 58% from 2019 placing Russia among the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

Several segments recorded explosive growth as the pandemic drove millions of consumers to online shopping, accelerating pre-existing market expansion.

The most spectacular example is e-grocery, with sales volumes reaching RUB13bn ($180mn), up 250% from 2019. Illustrating this trend, market leader X5 Retail Group posted a 347% GMV jump, becoming Russia’s largest digital company in food retail.

Data Insight also ranks Russian e-commerce sites by sales volume, number of orders and average order value. The 2020 ranking identifies the following leaders:

  • maintained its leadership in 2020 as its sales revenues reached RUB413bn ($5.7bn), nearly doubling year on year. However, the company posted a net profit of only RUB2.11bn ($29.1mn), half that in 2019. Meanwhile, the company launched sales in Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Israel prior to Western Europe and the USA in early 2021.
  • With a whopping 144% y/y revenue growth, ranked second in 2020. It was #7 in 2017, #4 in 2018 and #3 in 2019. Last year was extremely favourable to Ozon on the financial front, too: after a $150mn pre-IPO funding round in March, the company made a triumphant debut on the NASDAQ in November, raising more than $1.2bn instead of the expected $500mn.
  • Selling electronic appliances and a variety of other products, fell from second place in 2019 to third in 2020, with a relatively modest 47% y/y growth. The Merlion group, which owns the site, has engaged in talks with Sber for a potential acquisition.

Online fashion leader Lamoda a property of Global Fashion Group held the seventh place among Russian e-commerce sites. It underperformed the market with a mere 32% sales growth y/y.

Meanwhile, the performance of Western omnichannel retailers Ikea and Leroy Merlin is striking. According to Data Insight’s analysts, the Swedish DIY giant generated almost $566mn in online sales revenues last year (up 175% from 2019), while its French competitor made around $524mn (up 217%).

Amazon is absent from this ranking. The US giant’s sales to Russian consumers are modest, based only on a cross-border offer.


This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.