UK online retailer ASOS comes to Russia as cross border sales doubled in a year
ASOS.com, a major British online fashion retailer, is now planning to launch local operations in Russia. The site’s press service confirmed the news to East-West Digital News, but denied a rumor that it was also considering an acquisition.
ASOS is among the most popular sites selling to Russian shoppers from abroad. As EWDN’s recent report on Russian e-commerce revealed, from Amazon and eBay to a myriad of niche retailers in virtually every market, foreign retail players selling directly or indirectly to Russia report yearly growth of up to seven-fold.
As New Year’s Day approached, Russian Post said the number of packages arriving from abroad was double what it was last year, The Moscow Times reported recently.
So far this holiday season, 21.6 million small packages and express shipments have arrived in Russia. Seventy percent of incoming international mail consists of packages from foreign online retailers, according to the postal operator.
Online cross-border trade may have been close to the level of two billion dollars in 2012, according to EWDN experts. Russian consumers appreciate foreign retailers’ diversified assortment and enjoy virtually tax-free purchases. But frequent slowdowns at customs checkpoints and the lack of efficiency of the Russian postal system have also created serious issues.
By launching local operations, ASOS could overcome these obstacles and assert itself as a major player on the local scene. The Russian online fashion market is estimated at approximately 13% of the total Russian e-commerce market, or about $1 billion in 2011.
Launched back in 2000 as a celebrity fashion site, ASOS has grown to an international fashional retailer, launching US, German and French sites in 2010; followed by Australian, Italian in 2011. According to its latest report ASOS has leapt from sales of £32.2m in 2008/09 to £287.5m in 2011/12, with 62 per cent of those coming from outside of the UK.
- RUSSIAN E-COMMERCE REPORT 2012 – The total volume of Russian online retail reached 310 billion rubles, a little more than $10 billion, in 2011, up 25% at least from the previous year. EWDN has published an in-depth research on Russian e-commerce, including a detailed analysis of cross border sales and market entry. To receive free insights or to order the full version, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org