Russian online retail leaders double their sales in 2021

Several large Russian e-commerce companies have announced impressive results for 2021 – continuing their rapid growth since the start of the coronavirus pandemic even as traditional brick-and-mortar stores have fully reopened.

The Russian online retail market grew by 40% during the year, according to preliminary estimates from Infoline, but market leaders Wildberries, Nasdaq-listed Ozon, and international platform AliExpress Russia have greatly outperformed.

Wild berries

Wildberries, Russia’s largest online retailer, announcement annual revenue had risen 93% to 844 billion rubles ($11.5 billion) – including a record 305 billion rubles in the fourth quarter alone. Preliminary estimates of annual profit were about 18 billion rubles ($245 million) before tax.

In 2021, Wildberries customers placed a total of 809 million orders, up 146% from the previous year, and some 410,000 new merchants — mostly small businesses and independent sellers — logged on to the site. website.

The company also continued its international expansion in 2021, launching sales in competitive Western markets like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain. and United States as well as throughout Eastern Europe in Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey and Estonia.


According to preliminary unaudited results, Ozon saw its gross market value (GMV) exceed 445 billion rubles ($6 billion) in 2021 – up 125% from 2020 – to close the gap on Wildberries. The company said it had delivered more than 220 million orders, about three times more than in 2020. By the end of the year, Ozon said it had more than 25 million monthly customers.

This growth is partly explained by a rapid increase in the products available on the website. The assortment grew more than sevenfold year-on-year, surpassing 80 million individual products by the end of the year.

Having recently raised significant capital in international markets — a A $1.2 billion initial public offering (IPO) in November 2020 and a $750 million bond issue in early 2021 — Ozon continued to invest to expand its logistics capacity throughout the year. It is a vast network of processing and storage warehouses, as well as small dark shops and pick-up points, lockers and courier services.

Ozon CEO Alexander Shulgin said the results were “fantastic” and highlighted the company’s “incredible progress in cultivating high-frequency shopping habits” among its customers.

AliExpress Russia

AliExpress Russia said it generated 306 billion rubles ($4.2 billion) in revenue excluding services last year, up 46%.

Initially dedicated to cross-border sales from China, the company continued in 2021 the development of its network of sellers based in Russia. These sales have more than doubled over the year and now represent a third of purchases in volume, specifies the company.

The company said it received orders from 28.7 million unique customers throughout the year. Significant traffic was generated by the social networks Vkontakte and Odnaklassniki – which belong to the main shareholder of AliExpress VK, formerly Mail.Ru – representing 13 million unique users.

Alongside VK, AliExpress Russia is condominium by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

In 2022, the company said it plans to “increase its logistics capabilities”, reduce delivery times for goods shipped from China, and continue to expand the network of Russian-based sellers and goods.

This article originally appeared on East-West Digital News.

Anne G. Cash