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Net buying picks up steam

The internet may become Russia’s second most popular promotion tool after Television, online buying also growing rapidly amongst Russians

Virtually everything can be done through the internet from buying hi-tech gadgets to just paying the bills and Russians are hooked on that noted Aleksey Surkov, Tech lead, Google.

“We examined what people are searching for. It turns out the use of the phrase “buy online” has increased three-fold since 2008. Most of the requests are coming from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, which account to over 70 per cent of all search requests on buying.”

Research by Google and Citibank shows Russians most often pay for things like telecom services which account for 29 per cent of all operations. Railway tickets and music are gaining momentum with more than 10 per cent share out of all internet payments. Interest in News and Data displays a 6 per cent share along with air tickets.

The volume of web purchases in Russia amounts to no more than 1% of GDP. In comparison, the figure for England is 7 times higher. Russia’s internet market is gaining popularity and makes a good alternative to traditional shopping according to Andrey Oberemok, Head of the Analytical department at Citibank Russia.

“The market of internet purchases in 2010 is around $20 billion according to our estimates. In two years it could grow up to $29 billon. Last year, despite the crisis, it showed substantial growth and forced some companies online, where the costs are less, and profitability is greater.”

According to Citibank and Google investigation the typical portrait of an online buyer in Russia is a single university male student or graduate from Moscow. Women, nevertheless, still prefer the classic shopping techniques.