Online Retail in Russia


I’ve just returned from an interesting trip to Moscow, where I was invited to speak at the Plus Alliance’s “3rd International Online and Offline Retail Forum 2016.

Plus Alliance is an organisation much like the UK’s British Retail Consortium (BRC) promoting the needs of Russian retail through its forums, conferences and media publications.

I was invited to come and talk about the importance of innovation in retail, and also discuss the history of the grocery retail market in the UK.

I learned a great deal about how forward-thinking retail is in the Russian Federation. I was able to use contactless payment everywhere I shopped, and heard about how in Russia the grocery online market is now already at 4.4% of the total European market. UK, Germany and France have 60% between them, the UK largest overall at 30%.
pie chart showing E-grocery European Market Share

I was struck by the statistic that, in Moscow, 12,000 people live in each square mile of the city on average. Compare that to London’s 600 people per square mile average (one twentieth the density). The ability to deliver to vast numbers of households living in giant apartment buildings without moving the delivery van once parked up – maybe delivery lorry – was certainly a great opportunity. Indeed I could spot the vastness of that density just from looking out of my hotel room window in Sokolniki, a district just north of the centre of Moscow:
View from my Moscow hotel window

I made some very interesting contacts at the conference so I hope to meet some of them again when they visit London. A big thank you to my hosts who really looked after me during my visit. Spasibo! (thank you!).