Ecommerce Facts & Figures of Russia

Introduction to Russia

Russia is a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic in East Europe. It has a population of 146.3 million people and its capital is Moscow. The official language is Russian and widely spoken foreign languages are English, French, and German. Russia has a GDP of €1,162.2 billion, which represents a GDP per capita of €8,102 in 2017.


  • 146.3 million people
  • GDP of €1,162.2 billion
  • 5.5% unemployed
  • Inflation of 7.1% 


Ecommerce in Russia

In 2017, the Russian B2C ecommerce turnover grew by 17% to €28.8 billion. Russia had an online population of 101 million people who were aged 15 and older. Of the total online population, 30 million bought something online in 2015. The average spending per eShopper was €685 in this year.


B2C Ecommerce Turnover €28.8 billion
B2C Ecommerce growth 17%
Online population 101 million
Number of eShoppers 30 million
VAT rate 18%
Most popular payment method Debit and Credit Cards


Tips for ecommerce in Russia

Russian consumers attach great importance to brands and the quality of a product, as well as to its life span. The price is often only secondary but Russians are nevertheless attracted to "bargains"


Russian consumers are generally impulsive


Russians do not save very much, likely due to the bank system's lack of reliability. They often spend more than 80% of their income. It is also important to note that only 16% of Russians consider shopping enjoyable, compared with 26% globally. Shopping is most likely conducted for family members.


Family remains important in Russian life, and it affects shopping habits. More than half of Russian consumers (53%) shop regularly for the whole family (compared with 45% globally). Comparatively, one-third of the Russians (32%) shop only for themselves.


Based on the current Russian Tax Code, the provision of electronic services by a foreign legal entity not registered with the Russian tax authorities to Russian individuals (which are not individual entrepreneurs) does not trigger Russian VAT liabilities for the parties.


However, please note that currently the Russian Parliament considers the draft law which would require foreign companies to start charging VAT on Internet / digital services provided to individuals. The draft law also establishes that foreign companies that provide digital services / sell content to individuals in Russia should register with the Russian tax authorities and fulfill its VAT obligations under a special procedure.


Before trading in Russia, we recommend visiting the Q&A Online Taxes and VAT in Russia page.


The Russian Ecommerce Association, AKIT

AKIT is a branch association that promotes fair competition, innovation and positive development for the e-commerce businesses in Russia. It represents the views of members during parliamentary initiatives and provides a trustmark for reliable online merchants.

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  • Naomi Mostert
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