How to sell alcohol online in Russia (or not)

How to sell alcohol online in Russia (or not)

July 4, 2018 11:01 pm

The preferred area of interest for on-line Russian consumers is attire and footwear. That's in accordance with East-West Digital Information, which covers know-how and innovation in Central and Japanese Europe. However there are niches which are underdeveloped on-line. Considered one of them is alcohol.

On this publish, I'll try to elucidate the standing of on-line alcohol gross sales in Russia.

By the numbers

First, let’s assessment the numbers. In response to the Affiliation of Web Commerce Corporations, a Russia-based mostly commerce affiliation, on-line gross sales of alcohol in 2017, excluding beer, amounted to three.2 billion rubles (round $fifty five.three million) and 1.four million liters (roughly 370,000 gallons).

This is a rise over 2016 of 18 % (cash) and forty two % (quantity). In accordance with AITC report, the preferred drinks ordered on-line in 2017 have been whiskey, cognac, vodka, tequila, and wine. The typical order was roughly 5,seven hundred rubles or roughly $one hundred.

Seventy-5 % of all on-line alcohol gross sales in 2017 have been to Moscow residents. Twenty % went to Saint Petersburg, the second largest metropolis. Surprisingly, fifty two % of the consumers have been ladies aged 21-31. In line with the AITC, these ladies are usually not essentially shoppers; they're principally private assistants or secretaries of enterprise executives.

These numbers are superb as a result of promoting alcohol on-line in Russia is unlawful.


The regulation of the Russian Federation “On the Safety of the Shoppers’ Rights” No. 2300-1 on February 7, 1992 was confirmed by the Decree of the Authorities of the Russian Federation No. 612 “On Approval of the Guidelines for Sale of Items by Distant Means,” dated September 27, 2007, which governs the promoting of products and providers on the web. Level 5 of the Decree states:

It isn't allowed to promote distilled alcohol merchandise, in addition to items, the free sale of which is prohibited or restricted by the laws of the Russian Federation.

Main retailers are trying to influence the federal government to amend the regulation and permit the web promoting of alcohol on no less than sure days or time. However different much less outstanding sellers declare to have discovered authorized strategies to consummate the gross sales.

Some on-line shops promote “reservations” for alcohol and never the precise product. On this case, the client pays cash electronically, however for a service. The customer will then journey to the shop to get the reserved product, because the supply might be handled as part of the promoting course of.

One other means is to provide away alcohol (free of charge) when buying different gadgets, akin to cigarettes. This a standard tactic amongst on-line retailers to supply prohibited merchandise.

Excessive demand

The demand for ordering alcohol on-line is excessive, and the market is rising, however the authorized restrictions. There are two causes for this.

First is the worth. Alcohol is far inexpensive on-line. Second is the variability. Bodily retailers can't match the vary of alcohol merchandise from on-line sellers.

As for customs clearance from cross-border sellers, Russian residents can't obtain by way of customs greater than 5 liters of alcohol in a single calendar month. Furthermore, solely three liters out of 5 are freed from a customs declaration — in the event that they value lower than €one hundred fifty ($184) in complete. The fourth and the fifth liter will probably be assessed a €10 obligation every. Some cross-border on-line shops that ship alcohol to Russia don't permit purchases of greater than three liters to keep away from the complexity.

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