Russia’s shoppers are buying more goods online than ever before. E-retail sales have grown at a rate of around 26 per cent a year and 57 per cent of non-grocery retail spending is now made online.

This may seem odd for a nation that prefers to pay in cash and doesn’t have a reliable postal service, both typically important for e-retail. Attitudes to other payment methods are changing, however, and some home grown businesses have adapted their approach to suit Russian preferences. Continue reading »

India’s Snapdeal, an online marketplace akin to EBay, is powering ahead, with sales growing five-fold between 2012 and 2013. But what is unusual is that it in a male-dominated society in which men hold the purse strings, it is women who are driving much of the growth.

Kunal Bahl, chief executive, says the company could realistically make sales of between $10bn and $20bn in the next five years. This compares to current annual sales of almost $1bn, according to Bahl. Continue reading »

Being recognised by Bollywood is often the ultimate accolade for anything in India – an issue, a person, a business. But the folks at India’s number one matrimonial website seem admirably unfazed by the imminent launch next year of a Bollywood romcom, ‘Running‘. Continue reading »

By Chris Webster of eBay

Parul Arora always knew her mother had immaculate taste in jewellery – taste so good it appealed to both her younger friends and an older generation at the same time. Together with her mother, she decided to go into business and started selling locally-sourced, handmade jewellery on eBay from their home in New Delhi.

In doing so, Parul tapped into what is evolving to be one of the most virile online marketplaces in the world. The Indian retail environment is going from strength to strength, and not just for local businesses – this is a two-way virtual high street. Continue reading »

Chinese growth needs to come more from consumption than investment. However, Chinese consumption patterns will be nothing like what we’ve seen in developed countries. According to Gordon Orr, Asia Chairman at McKinsey, China will turn the consumption patterns known in the west upside down. Continue reading »

Internet, consumer goods and aspirational brands – they always crop up when folk in India discuss the growth of the economy. And a business that incorporates all three sounds like a recipe for success. claims to be the largest online fashion store in India – by revenues, by customers and by daily traffic – with 30 per cent market share. Continue reading »

The king of online marketplaces is teaming up with local players as it looks to make headway in India’s unique and growing market.

On Tuesday, eBay said it was going into a commercial partnership with Snapdeal, an Indian online shopping platform set up in 2010, as well as investing in the company. Continue reading »

Ecommerce is booming in Russia as more people hook up to the internet. But a corresponding surge in parcel volumes is straining the the old fashioned postal services to the limit and last week cost the head of the Russian post office his job. Continue reading »

By Stefan Wagstyl in Hong Kong and Leslie Hook in Beijing

Chinese businesses from rural poultry farms to the luxury Shanghai Four Seasons hotel are beginning to feel the impact of a bird flu outbreak that has killed nine people.

Taobao Marketplace, the ecommerce platform of the Alibaba internet group, confirmed that as of Thursday it had banned online trading of live poultry in the Shanghai region. Continue reading »

By Jefferson Finch of Eurasia Group

The rapid spread of smartphones and mobile broadband networks in Brazil is grabbing the attention of policymakers keen on promoting financial inclusion, and of businesses seeing an opportunity to reach millions of new customers. Government officials and companies are looking to mobile payments (m-payments) as a means to achieving those ends.

So far, Brasília hasn’t adopted a coordinated approach and independent company efforts have met with varying success. But President Dilma Rousseff’s agenda for this year will move the needle in the right direction, laying the groundwork to bring millions of Brazilian consumers and entrepreneurs into the formal economy while upending sectors such as retail and financial services. Continue reading »

By Ben Aris of bne

What’s the point of belonging to the emerging middle class if you don’t look good? That’s the idea behind KupiVIP, Russia’s leading online fashion store, which expects annual revenues to reach a billion dollars by the end of the decade. Continue reading »

The once-a-year Singles Day in China is becoming a big event for both online shoppers and retailers, with some of the bigger sites such as those run by Alibaba offering 50 per cent off and seeing growth in sales explode.

The alternative to Valentine’s Day, which was started among Chinese college students and held on November 11 (as a numerical pun of four single digits) has now become mainstream – and very big. It is also causing something of a challenge for couriers and delivery companies in the mad rush. Continue reading »

As internet penetration and consumer spending grow rapidly in Indonesia, ecommerce in the country is starting to take off.

Indonesia’s unique geography – with 240m people spread over 6,000 islands stretching 3,000 miles east to west – poses big difficulties for online retailers but also big opportunities. Continue reading »

When it comes to internet users, India is growing fast. While the number of internet users globally rose 7 per cent last year, the figure was 41 per cent in India.

And this is creating some interesting opportunities – not least for clothing retailers. Continue reading »

By Ben Aris of bne

When Maelle Gavet (pictured) first arrived in Russia as a student in the days following the fall of the Soviet Union, the shops were empty and the phones didn’t work properly. Two decades on, she heads Russia’s leading e-commerce site – Russia’s answer to – that is well on its way to turnover of $1bn a year. Continue reading »