In 2018, the total e-commerce market exceeded USD 2.8 trillion in value. This is equivalent to the GDP of around 100 countries, admittedly the poorest ones, but still, it is an impressive figure. According to this year’s forecasts, 1.9 billion people will make at least one purchase on the more than 24 million online stores in existence. These customers will generate a flow of 28 billion packages. The question of logistics and fast delivery is becoming critical — Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO .
Russia is a key e-commerce market. Russia is one of the largest internet users. Russia is also one of the top five countries in terms of e-commerce growth. And according to a 2018 survey, Russia is the fourth largest country in terms of consumers who shopped online from international merchants — Albert Ng, Chairman, EY China; Managing Partner, Greater China.
The share of e-commerce in the global trade is growing. We have been observing this for quite some time. It is growing by 12% in average, 10–12% of retail is done online. I believe this will double in the next 3–5 years. In Russia about 5% of retail is online — Holger Winklbauer, Chief Executive Officer, International Post Corporation.
Work is well under way on developing the country’s internal logistics infrastructure. It is a three-tier logistics centre system, and work on its creation is ongoing. In the next two years we shall have a revitalized infrastructure which will not only encompass sorting centres across the nation, but a fulfilment system employing the very latest technologies — Nikolai Podguzov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
On the one hand, major players with financing will develop their logistics capabilities, such as courier services and fulfilment. For example, Yandex.Market has already opened several fulfilment centres in Moscow and Rostov, and this expansion will continue this year. On the other hand, our colleagues from Russian Post will implement their own plan for efficient centres, meaning that there will be wide coverage, and not only large companies, but small ones too, will be able to access this infrastructure — Maxim Grishakov, Chief Executive Officer, Yandex.Market.
In China, Russia, and Europe the infrastructure had already been there, but there are not many solutions provided. The infrastructure there is not ready for the seller or for the customer to use. It is just an element. So how can we make it a solution? We need more solution providers — Ricky Xue, Head of Global Logistics, AliExpress.com; Managing Director, Cainiao Network.
The postal service from Southeast Asia to Russia works excellently and is very cheap. Postal services from other countries – from Europe, from Turkey – are virtually non-existent or else are very expensive. If the demand is there, but a solution is not, then this demand will very quickly cease to be, because neither people nor businesses are ready to pay large sums relative to the goods being delivered — Maxim Grishakov, Chief Executive Officer, Yandex.Market.
Around 80% of customers expect delivery to be free. Most customers in the US and Europe expect deliver within 2–3 days of their order, as well as free returns within 30 days. In the US they tend to expect free returns within up to 60 days. It is virtually impossible to do this using cross-border infrastructure. The use of overseas warehouses will therefore be a major next step for many exporters — Ilya Kretov, General Director, eBay Russia.
If you look at the market in Russia, there are millions of SME customer sellers here who are not really ready for export, not ready for e-commerce. To make it happen we probably need more players, supporters, facilitators in this ecosystem who can help these SMEs to do exports and cross-border B2C business — Ricky Xue, Head of Global Logistics, AliExpress.com; Managing Director, Cainiao Network.
We need to ensure that investments into infrastructure are made. This is not only about stimulus, but it is also about setting the right framework for businesses to invest in the infrastructure. Lamoda is investing more into infrastructure – this is a key priority — Florian Jansen, Chief Executive Officer, Lamoda Group.
The companies to emerge victorious on this market will be those focusing on technology and infrastructure. These are the two things that will provide a competitive advantage going forward. The technology I am speaking of will be that which helps attract customers and offer them relevant goods at the right price. It will also be technology which supports the effectiveness of infrastructure and associated logistics — Maxim Grishakov, Chief Executive Officer, Yandex.Market.
When in the future e-commerce accounts for 15–25% of all retail trade, the infrastructure will need to be able to handle enormous loads in terms of fulfilment and logistics. In order to create this infrastructure, a great deal of work and investment will be needed from several players — Alexander Shulgin, General Director, Ozon Group .
Collaboration is key. If someone believes a single company can do it, a single country can do it, it does not work. We need collaborations of all the key players to build a healthy prosperous ecosystem — Albert Ng, Chairman, EY China; Managing Partner, Greater China.
Collaboration is indeed crucial, as is having the opportunity for all players to effectively exchange information and data, including logistics organizations, commercial players, and government bodies — Nikolai Podguzov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.