Russia is a fairly new but huge eCommerce market, meaning that shipping to Russia could definitely be worth pursuing for online merchants looking to expand cross-border.

With a population of approximately 144 million people and a total GDP of $1.6 trillion, Russia boasts the world’s sixth largest economy. Its current $8,644 GDP per capita is projected to increase to $10,991 by 2021. Russia currently rakes in approximately $16.1 billion from eCommerce sales, with this revenue being projected to reach approximately $23.4 billion by 2021.

This data all indicates that Russia is a robust eCommerce market with great potential for online entrepreneurs looking to go cross-border to grow their businesses. This guide offers a look at some Russian eCommerce market insights, popular online market places in Russia, what Russians like to buy online, the top payment methods in the country and critical information about shipping to Russia.

Russian eCommerce Market Insights

More than 102 million people currently have access to the Internet in Russia. Out of this number, over 78 million have smartphones, which accounts for approximately 54.7 percent of Internet penetration.

Per Statista, the country currently boasts 80.9 million eCommerce users as of 2019, with that number expected to grow to approximately 84.7 million by 2023. In addition, average revenue per eCommerce user is also expected to grow considerably from $229.84 in 2019 to $293.64 by 2023.

Russia sanctions put in place by the United States, European Union and other countries and international organizations in the wake of the country’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014 have had a negative impact on the Russian economy, though eCommerce has been minimally impacted as no trade embargo or strict trade restrictions have ultimately been enacted.

Like every country, Russia has its own popular online marketplaces where items are bought and sold daily. Some of the top online marketplaces in the country include:

  • Aliexpress
  • Ozon
  • Eldorado
  • Dns-shop
  • Mvideo
  • Wildberries
  • Ulmart
  • eBay
  • Lamoda
  • Citilink

Before you decide on the best way to ship to Russia, take your time to check out these online marketplaces and determine which of the platforms would be suitable for your products. Key factors to consider include competition, traffic volume, target audience and the like.

What do Russians like to buy online?

Russians, like people from other countries the world over, have their own favorite items that they buy online. Here’s a quick breakdown of what Russians like to buy online to help you better understand the Russian eCommerce market:

  • Fashion leads all product categories and currently accounts for approximately a $4.8 billion market share. Projections show that by 2021, fashion will still be the leading category as it reaches over $7 billion in market share.
  • Toys and hobbies follow closely, as they currently account for $4.2 billion in sales and are expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2021.

Other product categories seeing significant sales include electronics, cosmetics and skincare products, and entertainment. Those interested in shipping to Russia should strongly consider all these product categories if they wish to break into the market effectively.

What are the top payment methods in Russia?

Russian eCommerce users also have their own set of preferred payment methods. Giving your customers the opportunity to make payments using these preferred payment methods potentially means fewer abandoned carts and more sales.

The top three payment methods preferred by Russian eCommerce users are:

  • Payment on delivery
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Digital wallets

For debit and credit cards, Visa maintains the largest market share at 61 percent. This is followed by MasterCard at 36 percent, with other local card companies making up the remaining 3 percent. eCommerce entrepreneurs should keep this information in mind when establishing payment methods on their websites.

Shipping to Russia

Russia has strict import rules, with many products being restricted or outright prohibited. To avoid any unneeded hassle as you choose the best way to ship to Russia, its crucial to have a clear understanding of these restricted and prohibited items.

Some of these restricted and prohibited products include:

  • Air rifles and BB guns
  • Animal products
  • Acids
  • Animal skins
  • Hazardous and non-hazardous bio products
  • Corrosives
  • Flammable substances
  • Infectious substances

A more exhaustive list of restrictions and prohibitions can be found here.

Russia: A Growing eCommerce Market

Russia offers an attractive and growing eCommerce opportunity for online merchants seeking to expand their brands on a global level.

To find the cheapest shipping to Russia and best way to ship to Russia overall, Easyship offers more than 250 shipping options. With the Russia shipping rates calculator, you can easily calculate the cost of shipping to Russia while out Russia guidealso offers useful information for eCommerce companies looking to break into the country’s robust market.

Shipping to Russia is much simpler and more efficient with Easyship, as we can help provide transparency into the best shipping options, automate taxes and duties, monitor shipments to the country and much more. Sign up for free today to enjoy steep shipping rate discounts and expand your eCommerce business globally!