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FOCUS: E-sales gain 12% in 2021 on reg expansion, staples shopping

By Yekaterina Yezhova

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (PRIME) -- Branching out into the regions and online shopping for staples propelled Russias e-commerce market 12% higher to 3.6 trillion rubles in 2021, and experts say the growth potential is high.

The e-commerce share in the total volume of retail sales stood at 9.2%, Russian Online Retail Association (AKIT) President Artyom Sokolov told PRIME.

The local market expanded by 13% to 3.1 trillion rubles, while cross-border sales amounted to 478.6 billion rubles, up 9%.

One of the key trends is a strengthening role of the regions in e-commerce. It emerged in 2020 and will certainly persist in the future because e-commerce grows actively and makes the cities evolve, Sokolov said

He explained the development mainly by widening of the logistics infrastructure distribution centers, warehouse facilities, and fulfillment centers are concentrated today not only in Moscow.

The total area of infrastructure of online retailers in all the federal districts more than doubled to 2.6 million square meters, which resulted in a bigger share of the regions in the whole turnover of Internet trade and a smaller share of Moscow, which now stands at 19.9% in comparison to 26.6% in 2019 and 24.7% in 2020, the AKIT head said.

The peoples new habit of online shopping for staples has also contributed to the markets advancement.

Last year purchases of most varying goods from food to large appliances and clothing became an integral part of millions of Russians life. At least one order was placed on Ozon by 25 million buyers almost two times the 2020 number. Of course, many of them do not limit themselves to one order on average, an Ozon client placed 8.5 orders in 2021 against 5.4 in 2020, a spokesperson for marketplace Ozon told PRIME.

The trend of shifting staples purchases to the marketplaces has become even more pronounced: highly frequent fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) that run out and are replenished faster than the others accounted for 80% of the top 100 popular items on Ozon. It is the so-called neighborhood-store assortment. The bestsellers were ultra heat-treated milk, dishwasher tablets, coconut milk, toilet paper, and coffee capsules.

Excluding FMCG, Ozons most popular goods were categories varying from pet items and pharmacy goods to electronics.

The marketplace also said that the online shopping habit boosted the volume of orders, and Ozon clients placed three times more orders in 2021 than a year earlier. The growing popularity of online purchases on the marketplaces is propelled by a wide range of goods, which is constantly widened by the sellers.

Attraction of new businessmen to the platform remains our goal for 2022, and we mean not only sellers on the marketplace, but also partners developing the last-mile agents of pick-up points and couriers. In 2021, we launched partnership with the self-employed by enabling them to sell goods on our website, the Ozon spokesperson said.

Marketplace AliExpress Russia saw the 2021 focus on express delivery of FMCG items, mainly food. AliExpress Russia launched food and staples delivery in service Est! within 15 minutes or more. Now users have access to the goods from Metro, Auchan, VkusVill, and other supermarkets. We also added Vse Apteki, a service of booking medications, the online retailers spokesman Dmitry Oleinichenko told PRIME.

In the recent two years, e-commerce has been evolving pro-actively, and a great deal of users and sellers came online. But the Russian e-commerce market has a huge potential and a vast room for growth, were still at the beginning of the way, he said.

AKIT head Sokolov agreed that the market will continue to expand. We think growth will remain steadily progressive like in 2021 and the 2022 sales could reach 4.2 trillion rubles, he said.

The main drivers will be the Russians habit of comfortable shopping an option to buy anything where you are, get it delivered as fast as possible and the good servicing the market offers today.

One of the main specific features of the Russian e-commerce market is its high growth potential. Despite the rapid development, the share of e-commerce in the total retail turnover is still slightly above 9% and compared to other countries, evidently, the Russian online retail sales will demonstrate the most dynamic of increases.

(75.7619 rubles U.S. $1)

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21.02.2022 09:19
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