Russia - is it worth it?

Mar 04, 2019

Cross-border eCommerce in Russia- Is it worth it?

In order for online, cross-border retailers to successfully sell in to Russia, it is important to understand Russian consumers and trends of online shopping.

Russia is ranked the 5th highest country to experience eCommerce growth (at 42.2% in the next 5 years). There has been year-on-year growth of 37% at 300 billion rubles (4.5 billion euros) in 2016. Russians’ love for cross-border eCommerce sites is also evident in a study by Yandex and GfK Rus, which shows that the percentage of Russians making purchases on cross-border websites is growing steadily.

So, why might Russian consumers buy from your eCommerce website? According to the same study, there are three main reasons why Russians are buying online from abroad: to save time, to save money and to purchase items not available in traditional stores.

What are Russian consumers buying from cross-border websites?

According to eMarketer, in 2015 39% of Russia’s online shoppers made a cross-border digital purchase at least once that year. Clothing, accessories, and footwear are the most common products Russian shoppers buy from abroad, making up over 51% of Russian cross-border digital purchases.

Should I sell my products in Russia?

When considering a cross-border strategy to Russia, we think you should consider:

  • Is my website user friendly for a Russian audience?
  • Are my products priced competitively?
  • Are my products available to purchase in traditional stores?
  • Does my website follow the trends of Russia’s spending habits already?

Another thing to take into consideration is, will sending parcels to Russia benefit your cross-border strategy? One thing that is currently stopping e-retailers taking the leap into Russian eCommerce is the cost.

Before you start to sell online in to Russia, you will need to decide how to ship your goods to your customers. There are various suppliers who can help mitigate the complexities of cross-border trade. Things to think about are:

  • Customs – Passport details are needed for all parcels, prior to dispatch from UK. Certain items are prohibited from entering Russia. If the parcel enters the country, a duty payment of 30% is due on total monthly eCommerce exceeding €500 or €4 per kg on monthly e-commerce orders exceeding 31kg.
  • Destination - Russia is huge. Sending a product to Moscow is not the same as sending it to Perm, Novosibirsk or Vladivostok. Costs will change depending on your product and destination.
  • Cost- This will change depending on your product and destination. Especially if you decide to offer free delivery to your Russian customers (which, can be an important incentive to purchase).

Choosing the right partner is important - wnDirect can help. Not only do we have experience in shipping to Russia, but we have services that will suit your needs, including wnDuty.

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