Russian e-commerce continued fast growth in H1 2019, Wildberries stronger than ever

Russian e-commerce continued fast growth in H1 2019, Wildberries stronger than ever
Russian e-commerce turnover grew to RUB725bn ($11bn) in 1H19, up 26% y/y / bne IntelliNews
By EWDN in Moscow September 17, 2019

Russian e-commerce kept growing fast in the first half of this year, reaching 725bn rubles (slightly more than $11bn), up 26% from H1 2018. This estimate, provided by research agency Data Insight, concerns only domestic sales of physical goods, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).  

During this period, 191mn orders were processed by Russian sites, up 44% year-on-year. This is the strongest growth rate ever recorded by Data Insight. The volume of orders for this semester equalled that of full year 2016, Data Insight notes. 

Average order value fell by 13%, which reflects more frequent and less sizeable orders. The stagnation or decrease of the population’s purchasing power may also have had an impact, as noted in EWDN’s latest industry report

Data Insight highlights the exceptional performance of such major e-commerce sites as Wildberries, and Their sales volume more than doubled in the first half of 2019  after growing already by 73%, 74% and 59% respectively during the previous year.

Data Insight’s lead analyst Boris Ovchinnikov attributes this accelerated market growth to “essentially a small number of big players, which grow by 100% or more per year.” Meeting market demand, these companies have “intensified their marketing and infrastructure efforts while enhancing user experience,”, which attracts an ever growing number of customers.

Thus, Wildberries confirmed its leadership: in H1 2019, this site accounted for 31% of the total number of e-commerce orders in the domestic market, according to Data Insight  with a very low AOV, however. Once focused on fashion items, Wildberries is now a multicategory player with a marketplace dimension. Its sales reached almost $1.8bn in 2018.

Data Insight also notes the growing importance of self pickup points. The share of this delivery mode has increased constantly for the past four years, boosted by thousands of newly opened pickup points across the country. Wildberries now claims 5,000 pickup points, up from 1,600 in late 2018. Ozon is following the same path, with 2,800 pickup points across the country as of mid-2019 and a target of 5,000 points for 2020.