Central regions | Retail, FMCG

Mobile commerce takes off in Russia: Number of shoppers more than doubles in 2014

24 Dec '14
In line with the global trend, over the next few years the main driver of m-commerce in Russia will be the growing number of tablet and smartphone users. This is the primary thesis of the study “The Russian M-Commerce Market in 2014,” presented by the marketing agency RBC.research, reported East-West Digital News, the first international information company dedicated to Russian digital industries, citing e-commerce online portal Oborot.ru. The study defines m-commerce as the “order of any goods and services through the use of mobile Internet, regardless of payment methods.”

The study surveyed 4,142 Internet users in the period of September 6-17. Some 95% of respondents visited online shops selling goods or services via the Internet, and 83.3% of respondents had experience of buying goods via the Internet. Only 11.7% of respondents visited online stores for information purposes only and did not make any purchases from them in the past year.

The m-commerce market is developing quite briskly. If in 2013 only 1.9 million people aged 18 to 54 made purchases via their smartphones, in 2014 the number of “mobile” customers reached 4.1 million people. Yet so far only 21% of smartphone users living in Russian cities with a population of over 100,000 made purchases via their phones.

In cities with a population of up to 500,000 people, only one-sixth (17.4%) of smartphone users made “mobile” purchases. In Moscow and St. Petersburg (which were home to 25% of the respondents in the study), m-commerce uptake is stronger, at 23.6% and 23.9% of smartphone users respectively.

Tablet users are much more involved in the process of buying online. Some 48% of tablet users made purchases of goods and services via their devices. In 2014, the number of such buyers stood at 5.2 million, while in 2013 this number did not exceed 800,000 million, notes RBC.research.

From the study it is possible to conclude that the Russian market is large, still underdeveloped and with great potential. In the near future the market will continue to grow organically, given the rapidly growing popularity of tablets. Russian mobile phone retailer Euroset sold 6.7 million tablets in 2013, which is more than double the 2012 figure and only three times less than its total smartphone sales.

Mobile phones are used universally in Russia. The country is among the top 10 countries globally for the number of mobile users with a SIM card penetration rate well above the 100% mark.

The mobile Internet audience exceeds 30 million people (putting aside feature phone users). In 2013, Euroset’s sales of both smartphones and tablets (about 29 million units) for the first time exceeded the number of feature phones sold (less than 20 million units).

The volume of sales that occurs via mobile devices accounts for 30% of the total number of e-commerce transactions globally. By 2018, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow three-fold.
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