Do you want to explore Russia market, a huge market with many opportunities. Hereby an online survey conducted by Romir for PwC last autumn, 92 percent of Russian Internet users living in cities with a population over a million people have shopped online. 70 percent of those who responded make online purchases at least one to three times a month. Russians are still behind many Western nations: in the UK, 28 percent respondents say they buy things in web stores once a week (compared to only 12 percent in Russia).
Russia’s online retail market is growing and developing, but is still far from saturation, explains PwC’s Anna Davydova. Consumer base is growing thanks to both broadening geography of the services and to appearance of more and more new players, including those working in the previously unrepresented segments. PwC experts say that as competition is increasing, the quality of services will inevitably improve.
Two groups are the most active online shoppers: young people under the age of 25 and those between 31 and 40 who work in executive positions or own businesses. Research data links online purchases frequency with income levels: the more a person earns, the more they tend to buy online.
Wealthier respondents usually have less free time to visit conventional shops, and they also more likely to have access to the Internet and are more skilled in using it.
Moscow is, understandably, the leader of Russia’s online retail market, followed by St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Rostov-on-Don. St. Petersburg is the last in line in terms of people who use mobile devices and not computers, to shop online: only 25 percent of smartphone or tablet owners buy on the Internet, compared to 32 percent in Moscow, 34 — in Yekaterinburg and 31 in Rostov-on-Don.
Household appliances, books, mobile phones, computer and software are the most sought-after products in online retail. Segments that have the fastest growth rate include: clothing and footwear (13 percent), video and audio records (12 percent), airline tickets and travel services (11 percent) and entertainment activities (10 percent).
Cash on delivery is still the payment method most popular with Russians, as 60 percent choose it. 50 percent use virtual currencies, and 32 percent prefer credit cards (compared to only 20 percent in 2009). Interestingly, men tend to trust online payments much more (24 percent) then women do. 23 percent of survey participants choose new payment methods such as via text messages or self-service terminals.
Choosing the Store
Russians named low prices (58 percent) and wide product range (54 percent) as their key criteria in choosing an online store, some (44 percent) also mentioned delivery conditions. Wealthier and more active shoppers are also influenced by how trustworthy a shop is, promptness of its delivery service and its product return policy.
44 to 49 percent of online shoppers between the ages of 25 and 50 tend to look for the product they need on aggregator sites such as Yandex. Market, before visiting vendor websites. Those with higher income use aggregators even more actively (55 percent), while these services are less popular among people under the age of 24, with only 39 percent of the young users visiting them before making a purchase. 24 percent of all respondents said they like to read web stores’ forum entries on the products they are considering to buy.
While half of Russians say they always plan their online purchases ahead, almost 20 percent, mostly users who have less experience in web shopping, admit they sometimes shop on the web spontaneously.
Online supermarkets are the most popular store type: 22 percent Russians prefer to shop there, and only 13 percent buy from specialized online stores.
Russians are reasonably well-informed of coupon shopping: 80 percent know of them, with 36 percent buying coupons «regularly» and 14 percent «sometimes». Young shoppers (18 to 24 years old) are the most active coupon users: 18 percent in this group admit they buy coupons regularly and 26 percent — sometimes, compared to 15 and 25 percent in the 25–50 age group.
Unexpectedly, people with higher income levels tend to buy more coupons, and this fact has a few explanations. Firstly, less wealthy shoppers are also less active Internet users, so their knowledge of coupon services and their trust in them is also lower. Secondly, discount offers often cover entertainment and services that are more popular among the richer customers, such as restaurants and beauty salons