24 Jul '20
Online retail sales increased 280% year on year in Russia in May as many retail stores remained closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, the USRBC reported, citing analysts at Russia’s federal statistics agency, Rosstat.
In May, the share of online retail increased to 6.8% of total retail sales from 2.3% in May 2019. Although online sales contracted 15% month on month in June following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, online sales remained significantly above March levels.
The Russian Association of Internet Retailers (AKIT) has predicted a 30% increase in full-year online retail sales to about $35.1bn or 10% of total retail sales in 2020.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) predicts that, although many Russians will likely switch back to traditional retail for routine purchases after the pandemic, the Covid-19 shutdown may lead to significant long-term changes in consumer habits, with more customers shopping online for food and other daily items rather than for bulk purchases or large-size items only.
The MIT has noted a dramatic increase in demand for Internet domain names in Russia in recent months as traditional retailers were rapidly expanding their online operations to offset losses from falling sales. AKIT expects Russian retailers to further increase investment in mobile apps and other Internet technologies in the mid-term.