Russia's ecommerce is booming. The country’s online retail made up $12 billion in 2012 and accounted for 1.9% of the total retail trade in the country, according to Morgan Stanley. The global financial services firm has also reported that 48% of Russian internet shoppers started making online purchases in the last two years, and forecasted that internet purchases would make up 4.5% of all retail sales by 2015.
This growth rate, however, might have been even higher, had one of the major problems deterring the country's ecommerce had been resolved – the problem of delivering a purchase across a distance of more than 30-50km, or, ideally, across all nine time zones. This is what head of Ozon, one of Russia’s largest online retailers, was talking about almost a year ago. This is what the European and Chinese retailers are talking about when we approach them with offers from our comparison shopping service, Yandex.Market – the largest ecommerce platform in Russia at the moment.
We have working business solutions and a fantastically loyal audience to offer, but few foreign enterprises are fearless enough to take the plunge without a ready-made, smoothly running distribution system. Most international retailers embark on their journey in Russia with a small outlet in one of the capitals, or start with selling their goods through a local authorised retailer. Everyone, at the same time, understands that a mere fact of having a convenient and reliable method of delivering goods across the vast territories of Russia would have significantly improved the country's attractiveness in the eyes of international electronic merchants.
To meet the growing demand for quality logistics, Yandex has partnered with a Russian aggregator of logistics services, MultiShip, which gives online stores an opportunity to quickly and easily set up and offer their clients a convenient and trackable delivery service across Russia. The users of Yandex's comparison shopping system, Yandex.Market, will soon be able not only to choose products offered by participating retailers, but also select the best delivery method at the best price offered by the most relevant logistics company partnering with MultiShip. Powered by MultiShip’s technology, Yandex.Market will be able to help the user make their choice by calculating the best offer based on cost, time and other terms and conditions of delivery.
The delivery information will be seamlessly built into the purchase-making process, so that the user won't have to worry about third-party logistics. Now online shoppers in, say, Novosibirsk, will be able to choose on Yandex.Market not only from goods available in the local internet outlets, but also from a full range of products in online stores based in, say, Saint Petersburg. By taking on the role of a 'single entry point', MultiShip, in its turn, makes it easier for online stores to join the logistics services aggregator, and, by doing so, expands its coverage. It takes only a few days for a retailer to join the aggregator and get access to the services of all participating delivery companies, in contrast to up to two months to plug into just one logistics service via API. Currently, MultiShip collaborates with Russia's leading logistics players, including Axiomus, B2Cpl, Boxberry, CDEK, Maxima Express, PickPoint, Pony Express, QIWI Post, and CourierServiceExpress – and welcomes new partners to join. All of these companies make up a logistics network, which covers the whole of Russia and facilitates the delivery of orders to more than 40,000 cities and towns, services more than 2,000 collection points (including automated parcel collection points) and delivers goods for Russian Post (through one of its partners).
According to the agreement, Yandex is purchasing MultiShip’s technologies and software for $1m and investing a further few million into the company's development and business expansion. MultiShip’s software engineers are joining the Yandex team to help the company develop new products and services for internet stores.
Yandex.Market is Russia’s largest ecommerce comparison shopping platform, which allows shoppers to choose products, services or retailers online, while online stores can enjoy an opportunity to list their products on a popular product search website with a smart and user-friendly interface.
During the thirteen years of its life, Yandex.Market has grown into a standard-defining player on Russia’s ecommerce market. The service’s ranking system for stores and products based on customer feedback, alongside the detailed product and seller information, shopping tips, rigorous content verification and moderation, turned Yandex.Market into the force that brought order, transparency and security to Russia’s ecommerce.
Yandex.Market currently features more than 14,000 online stores with more than 53,000,000 product offers available to customers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey. According to comScore MediaMetrix, more than 18 million shoppers across many countries choose products on Yandex.Market every month.
In addition to setting market standards in Russia, the service also has always been the first to adopt and introduce global trends, such as a more efficient cost-per-action business model. Or, a single checkout for multiple purchases in multiple stores. The interests of online customers and partners have always been key for Yandex.Market, whose primary aim is to facilitate internet experience for end-users and support the burgeoning ecommerce market in Russia.