Russia’s twist on Cyber Monday
The original Cyber Monday follows the US Thanksgiving weekend. In the West, Cyber Monday caps the weekend that begins with Black Friday and represents one of the year’s biggest shopping periods globally. Retailers often offer deep discounts to lure shoppers in hopes of having a strong start to the holiday season.
Since its beginning in 2005, Cyber Monday has grown to become one of the biggest days on the global eCommerce shopping calendar. In 2018, Cyber Monday was the single largest shopping day in history in the US with online sales topping $7.8 billion.
Cyber Monday has spread throughout the Americas and Europe with more local and global eCommerce retailers offering sales and specials. Russian Cyber Monday falls on the last Monday in January.
"Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report estimates total Russian eCommerce turnover of $38 billion for 2018"
Unlike the holiday kickoff event in the West, Russian Cyber Monday is a post-holiday sales event. In Russia, the first ten days of the year are celebrated as the New Year’s holiday, including Russian Christmas that’s celebrated on January 7. The annual event aims to boost sales following the busy pre-holiday shopping season and the extended holiday itself.
The first Russian Cyber Monday was held in 2013 and was organized by the Russian Association of Internet Trade Companies, the AITC. The 2019 event on January 28 will see deep discounts offered by many of the largest eCommerce sites operating in Russia including Ulmart, Media Markt, M.video, Eldorado, and Detsky Mir.
Overall eCommerce still represents a relatively small percentage of the Russian economy, about 3%. Yet the opportunity for online sales in Russia is growing. Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report estimates total Russian eCommerce turnover of $38 billion for 2018. The report projects a 9% eCom compound annual growth rate, projecting a $54 billion market opportunity by 2022. A 2018 report by Morgan Stanley included a similar estimate of $52 billion by 2023. In addition to its growing size, the Russian eCommerce market is notable for its lack of single dominant retailer.
Russians have their own twists on payments as well. Russians prefer debit and credit cards when shopping online, with Central Bank of Russia’s Mir system competing with global brands like Visa and Mastercard. The use of alternative payment methods are growing in Russia. Led by eWallets like Yandex.Money, WebMoney and Qiwi, alternative payments accounted for 24% of Russian eCommerce sales in 2018 according the 2018 Global Payments Report.