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11 March 2021

Оnline spending increases, conservative users stay offline

The fact that the pandemic has led to a rise in online purchases is obvious. Additional expenses on the internet over this period amounted to approximately RUB1 tn for Russians.

Having studied Russians’ spending during the pandemic, the experts concluded that citizens who purchased goods on the internet even before COVID-19 grew to favor online shopping, while compatriots who prefer traditional shopping trips returned to them as soon as restrictions were lightened.

According to SberIndex analysts, online spending in Russia rose to 11.8% of total spending as a result of the pandemic, corresponding to almost one-fifth of national non-cash turnover (19.5%). In February 2021 the proportion of online spending remained close to that during self-isolation. Additional spending that moved online amounted to 3% of total household demand. This added RUB1 tn to the online market between April and December 2020.

However, the steady relocation of expenses online was not ubiquitous. Spending moved online within the group of consumers who made occasional use of e-commerce and electronic services pre-pandemic, whereas those who did not seek out online services before the lockdown returned to their previous models of behavior once the enforced hiatus was over. The proportion of conservative consumers remained stable in all expense categories studied by SberIndex analysts (online and offline movie theaters, restaurants and food delivery, and spending on clothing, household appliances, and electronics).

A consumer group willing to only buy clothing, household appliances, and electronics online is emerging, accounting for 3.8% of all non-cash spending in this category in January-February 2021.

The spread of online services was also reflected in expenses related to International Women’s Day, with the proportion of online shopping and food delivery growing in accordance with the general trend. Movie theaters were the exception – it appears that many people took advantage of the long-awaited reopening of cinemas and celebrated March 8 with a movie. Average spending on online orders for flowers was the highest compared to other holiday-related categories, amounting to RUB4,382.

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