The just published ‘E-Commerce Index: Top 100’ survey shows that Ulmart, a St. Petersburg based online retailer, leads the rankings. Ulmart, which has developed an original online-offline model, intends to go public this or next year. (The sales volume estimate does not take into account Ulmart’s ‘Cybermarkets.’)
KupiVip.ru, a leading flash sales platform backed by western investors, jumped to 8th place (compared with 31st in 2014), following a good year which saw group sales increase by 50%.
Lamoda.ru, a footwear site launched by Rocket Internet in 2011, did not do so well. The $202 million volume of sales in 2015 was not sufficient to secure its presence in the Top 10, believe Data Insight analysts.
Data Insight states that it has used advanced monitoring and measurement methods to complete this research, and that the concerned companies were invited to check and comment on the numbers.
The ranking only includes companies whose e-commerce activities in Russia are run by a legal entity registered in the country. Marketplaces, which the researchers have defined as sites where sales, or the major part of them, are made by third parties, are excluded from the rankings.
This is why key players such as eBay, Yandex.Market and Wikimart, as well as China’s AliExpress and JD.COM, are not included in the rankings.
Data Insight counted only online sales. Even those sales generated by Ulmart’s ‘Cybermarkets’ were not included, since these involve an important offline dimension. As a result, a sales volume of 36.8 billion ruble is attributed to the company, even though the company’s total sales, including the ‘Cybermarkets,’ amounted to 62.7 billion last year.
Most importantly, the ranking concerns e-commerce sites, not companies. The online sales activities of Otto Group, for example, are not ranked as such, but are classified via the group’s distinct brand sites BonPrix.ru, Otto.ru and Quelle.ru.
Russia’s domestic online retail market grew in real terms in 2015, despite the economic crisis (see EWDN’s e-commerce report).
Russian e-commerce grew in terms of rubles, reaching around 650 billion (+16%) as far as physical goods were concerned, according to Data Insight, while the rate of inflation did not exceed 13%.
Given the ruble’s sharp depreciation, the picture looks less rosy in terms of dollars: the market volume fell to $10.5 billion for physical goods, down 28% from 2014. (These numbers do not include cross-border orders, deliveries of ready meals as well as corporate, C2C, MLM and group purchases.)
There is still a considerable growth potential ahead, since online retail accounts for just 2% of Russia’s total retail market.
Meanwhile, cross-border purchases continued to grow rapidly in 2015. Their value amounted to some $3.4 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2014. However, only Chinese players, which saw their share of the cross-border flows jump to around 80%, benefited from this growth, while the activity of western merchants was severely hit by the depreciation of the ruble.
First published in East-West Digital News
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