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Gemma Houghton

Russian Ecommerce Leader Opens Up To European Retailers

Global Marketing News – 25th June 2015

Russian ecommerce leader opens up to European retailers

The Russian ecommerce site Ozon has announced that it will start allowing European and Chinese merchants to sell on its site later this year.

The ecommerce company will build more warehouses around Russia to help achieve this goal, which will also mean faster delivery times in rural regions.

Currently, only Russian retailers are allowed to sell on the site. Expanding this to include European and Chinese retailers will allow the company to tap into Russia’s surging cross-border ecommerce market, which is currently worth 5 billion US dollars and grew at a rate of 70% last year.

Ozon, which is the most popular ecommerce platform in Russia, expects its sales to increase by 40% as a result of the change, which will take place this autumn.

Ozon is not the only company to realise the potential of cross-border ecommerce in Russia. The Chinese ecommerce giants Alibaba and JD have also moved into the Russian market, with Alibaba actually being one of the top 10 most popular websites in Russia.

Chinese government relaxes ecommerce laws

The Chinese government has relaxed ecommerce laws, meaning that certain ecommerce companies operating in the country can now be 100% foreign-owned for the first time.

Previously, ecommerce companies had to have at least part Chinese ownership.

The new rules apply with immediate effect, although it is unclear how it will impact ecommerce sites already operating in the country.

The most popular ecommerce sites in China are Alibaba and JD, with Amazon, Vipship and Wal Mart also having a presence

The Chinese government hopes that the new rules will encourage competition by attracting foreign ecommerce companies wanting to sell their products to Chinese shoppers, in turn encouraging the development of China’s own ecommerce companies.

This is the latest in a string of new proposals by designed to encourage foreign ecommerce companies to enter the Chinese market. The Chinese government has also recently reduced some taxes and restrictions for companies wanting to sell their products in China.

UAE has most advanced online economy in Middle East

The UAE has the most advanced online economy in the Middle East, according to research by Boston Consulting Group.

Qatar is the second most advanced country in the region, with the UAE and Qatar coming 23rd and 24th globally.

The report calculated that the strength of a country’s online economy makes a difference of around 2.5% to its GDP.

It also identified certain factors that must be overcome by countries in order to have a strong online economy, with problems with “wealth, population density, the urban-rural population mix, literacy and English-language skills” coming top of the list.

Huge opportunity in Pakistani grocery ecommerce sector

There appears to be a large gap in the grocery ecommerce sector in Pakistan.

The Pakistani retail market is worth an estimated 42 billion US dollars, with this figure growing at a rate of 5% a year.

The grocery sector is taking a large proportion of this spend, with the amount the average Pakistani spends on food being around 42% of their income.

Despite the strong demand for grocery retailers, however, the vast majority of shopping is done in physical stores rather than online.

There is a lack of high quality grocery shopping sites in the country, with none of the major supermarkets having an online shopping option, and Tazamart (one of the few websites that exist, which serves the Karachi area) having a low number of products available.

Head of Facebook in Brazil leaves for Airbnb

And finally, the head of Facebook in Brazil has left to join the home-rental giant Airbnb.

Leonardo Tristão, who has worked for Facebook for the last 4 years, will become Airbnb’s country manager for Brazil at the end of this month.

He will replace Christian Gessner, who is leaving the company to spend more time with his family.

Airbnb has been awarded the contract to provide more than 20,000 rooms for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the country next year.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over ten years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programmes Webcertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing which runs across Europe and the US. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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