Russia may have the largest Internet population in all of Europe, but the ecommerce market there is highly fragmented, with the top 10 players making up just 20 percent of the market. One of the top opportunities for global commerce platforms like eBay, as well as domestic Russian retailers, is to stand out among the country’s online shopping destinations and offer shoppers new ways to connect with the things they love.
Now, for the first time in nearly a decade, eBay has established a domestic business in an emerging market, announcing on September 30 that Russian retailers can connect to new customers throughout the country by selling directly on eBay.
This launch marks another important milestone for eBay in Russia.
“We have been very clear – growing our business in Russia is one of our top priorities in eBay’s global expansion efforts,” said Wendy Jones, vice president of geo-expansion and cross-border trade. “Over the past 18 months, we have been on an ambitious, focused journey to build a business in Russia, and by opening up our platform for Russian merchants, we are helping them extend and grow their existing business by reaching Russian customers they historically could not serve.”
eBay is taking a phased approach to its domestic rollout in Russia. At launch, a small number of local retailers, including Wikimart.ru and e5.ru, have listed approx. 60,000 items, and these numbers will grow throughout 2015. During this phase, retailers will reach domestic Russian shoppers only; eBay expects to open up their inventory to a global customer base during 2015.
The move is the latest in eBay’s playbook for expansion into emerging markets, with Russia as a priority. Since October 2012, eBay has launched a localized mobile presence, a Russian web site, more tailored marketing initiatives and promotions, and a series of improvements in shipping, payments and other areas to accelerate its plans for the country.
“One of eBay’s core differentiators in Russia is that we make it possible for Russians to shop the world,” said Vladimir Dolgov, head of eBay’s operations in Russia. “Now, by opening our domestic business, we are enabling Russians to shop their own country, and we’re supporting retailers in their goals to expand in ecommerce.”