Ozon, one of the first e-commerce companies in Russia, will open a representative office in Shenzhen. The company plans to attract 100,000 Chinese merchants operating on the platform and increase the trading volume of goods from the country tenfold by 2024, Russian media reported on November 21.
Founded in 1998, Ozon is Russia’s first multi-category e-commerce platform and one of its largest internet companies. Initially, Ozon was a stand-alone book retailer before branching out into consumer electronics. This development path is similar to that of Amazon, so it also earned the nickname “Russian Amazon”.
Ozon debuted on the Nasdaq in 2020, once reaching a market value of $15 billion. It is the only Russian e-commerce company listed in the United States. Ozon started attracting international merchants in 2020 and currently has over 10,000 sellers from 45 countries.
The company said China’s cross-border trade market volume in the first half of 2022 exceeded $1 trillion, which is the company’s main development direction. At present, 90% of the platform’s products come from Chinese sellers. There are more than 10,000 Chinese traders registered on the platform, and in the third quarter of 2022, the trading volume tripled compared to the same period last year.
Ozon believes there is a huge demand for Chinese products in Russia due to the variety and attractive prices. 95% of Ozon Global’s orders are Chinese products, including smartphones, laptops, small appliances and clothing. Chinese brands such as XiaomiHuawei, Neatsvor, Micro-Star International and Asus are very popular in Russia.
In order to pave the way for Chinese sellers to operate on Ozon, the company has launched special payment and logistics solutions. Through cooperation with LianLian Pay, users can directly charge and collect in RMB or USD. Moreover, Ozon is the only company providing fintech services among all Russian e-commerce platforms.
In the logistics process, merchants can choose which third-party logistics service providers Ozon cooperates with to deliver the goods. After entering Russia, Ozon guarantees that deliveries can be made throughout the country in two to five days. The company will also open a “fulfillment by Ozon” service to Chinese sellers in the first quarter of 2023, which should significantly reduce the delivery time.
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As the most populous country in Europe, Russia has a huge consumer population and its e-commerce scale in 2021 was 4.1 trillion rubles ($67 billion), ranking ninth in the market. global e-commerce. There are many reasons for the continued rapid growth, including the construction of local logistics infrastructure, the increase in online supply, the development of consumers’ online shopping habits and the pandemic.
This year, the development of Russian e-commerce was also affected by various special factors. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused an increase in Russian consumer shopping demand in the first quarter and a large number of international brand offline stores pulled out of the country. According to a report by Brands Factory, some industry insiders predict that by the end of the year, the Russian e-commerce market will exceed $70 billion.