Marketplace Focus: Yandex

Lengow Ecommerce Day ParisOne of the most interesting talks at the Lengow Ecommerce Day in Paris this week was from Russian Pavel Aleshin, head of Yandex.Market.

Pavel kicked off saying “Russians believe that if someone can cheat you that they will cheat you”. That’s not a particularly great incentive to try to sell to Russia, but the truth is that Russians are wary of everyone and if you want to succeed in Russia you need to allay their fears and engender trust.

Russia is still a young country in Ecommerce terms, although growing fast it’s still just 1.9% of retail, whereas here in the UK the online retail share is slightly more than 10%.

The Russian Ecommerce Opportunity

Image courtesy Wikimedia CommonsYou might think that Ecommerce Growth in Russia would be highest in the major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, however the greatest growth rate (55%) is coming from the regions. This is of course the hardest part of Russia logistically to ship to, but it’s where the buyers are coming from.

There are 31,000,000 online buyers, 50,000 domestic eshops, sales in 2014 of $10 billion and growth 27% in Rubles (5% in US$). In comparison there was $4 billion in purchases from cross border trade in 2014, about 40% each from the USA and China and around 8% from the EU.

Top 7 reasons Russians are wary of cross border trade

There are seven key barriers which discourage Russians from purchasing overseas. Many of these can be addressed once you’re aware of them. The reasons (with percentage of Russians citing each reason) are:

1) No Need (39%)

There are already 50,000 eshops in Russia

2) Long Delivery Times (32%)

Typically a delivery will take two weeks or more, compared to 2-5 days for domestic online purchases

3) Afraid of Fraud (29%)

See comment from Pavel above re Russians cultural fear of cheats

4) Language Barrier (22%)

Less than 5% of Russians speak a foreign Language

5) Delivery is too expensive (21%)

Russia is a massive country, bigger than the rest of Europe put together!

6) Don’t know how it works (18%)

No Experience

7) Difficulties with Checkout (12%)

Last minute refusal to checkout (All the problems listed above can be a reason of an abandoned checkout)

How Yandex can help you sell to Russia

Yandex MarketThere are two things Yandex can’t assist with – delivery times, you’ll need to investigate the fastest most cost effective way to get your goods to Russian customers and language, it’s pretty essential you get your listings translated. For translation solutions such as Lengow can help as once your products are in their catalogue add on services from third parties such as Text Master can handle the language problem.

What Yandex can do is get your products in front of customers and drive Russian Consumers to your shop on Yandex. Concerns about fraud are very much lessened as Yandex is a highly trusted marketplace in Russia and they’ll ensure that your checkout is friendly and localised to Russian expectations.

Selling on Yandex in Russia is a bit like selling on Google in the west – Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia used by almost 88% of all Internet users. Additionally almost 50% of Russian online customers use a search engine prior to making a purchase, so a trusted partner like Yandex is essential.

Yandex Money

Yandex MoneyPayments are handled by Yandex Money, the best known and most widely used service for online payments in Russia, recognised by 87% of Russians it has a 22% share of the Russian epayments market. Yandex Money can accept payments in e-money, from local bank cards, in cash through payment kiosks and of course from mobile phone balances or via online banking.

Getting started on Yandex Market

Yandex Market has the audience as well as the trust and loyalty of their consumers needed to generate sales for you in Russia. If you’re interested in learning more you can contact Yandex at, of of course the guys at Lengow can help make the whole listing process easy for you and assist in getting you started selling to Russia on Yandex.