Social commerce market in Russia: a study by Yandex.Checkout and Data Insight

In 2018, the Russian social commerce market, which includes sales of goods and services via social networks, in instant messengers, on classified ad platforms, and via other P2P platforms, is estimated at approximately $8.98bn (591 billion rubles) and 394 million transactions. The participants include 39 million Russian buyers and 22 million sellers comprised of companies (B2C) and individuals (C2C), according to the Yandex.Checkout and Data Insight analysts who conducted a study of companies and users running businesses via social channels.

33% of the sales volume in social commerce comes from classified ad platforms (for example, Avito,, Youla), 26% from social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), 21% from sharing economy websites (Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, YouDo, etc.), 16% from instant messengers (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc.), and 4% comes from joint purchases (combining users on bulk orders). Most of the transactions take place in social networks, yet the average check there is smaller than on the classified ad platforms.

The most popular category of sales in social channels is apparel and footwear with the sales volume of more than $1.52bn (100 billion rubles) a year, followed by electronics and household appliances. Real estate rental services take up the third place.

The average purchase check on social platforms is about $23 (1,500 rubles), yet 73% of orders processed through these channels cost an average of $45 (3,000 rubles) or less. The largest average check is in the «Real Estate Rental» category ($97, or 6,500 rubles), followed by «Electronics and household appliances» ($54, or 3,600 rubles) and «Animals and plants» ($45, or 3,000 rubles). Russians spend an average of $29 (1,950 rubles) on products in the most popular category, «Apparel and footwear».

B2C sales: 40% of online revenue comes from social channels

76% of trading companies operating online use social channels for sales, with 94% of sellers preferring to work via social networks, and 29% via messengers. On the average, social channels account for about 40% of the online sales revenue for companies using them (own website and apps account for 53.4%).

Social media are the main sales channel for B2C sellers. The most popular social network among companies is VKontakte, where 15% of respondents offer their services and products. Instagram takes the second place (5.9%), followed by Odnoklassniki (3.8%). The primary source of sales via social networks for 80% of companies is their own webpage. 57% of respondents sell via the networks' built-in functions, 9% use native payments.

Sellers using instant messengers report the fastest growing sales: 74% of them note the increasing number of purchases. Instant messengers are most often used for communication between the seller and the buyer (89% of companies), less often for maintaining the sales channel (41%) and sending offers to the customer base (39%). 33% of organizations using social channels operate via chat bots.

Social sales channels are generally effective for business. Over the past 12 months, the percentage of sales via these channels has increased for 55% of respondents. Every fifth respondent who hasn't yet tried selling via social platforms is planning to start using them within the next 12 months.

C2C sales: advertisement sites are more popular than social media

About 22 million (approximately every third) Internet users sell something via social channels. 12% of these sellers have a substantial income from social commerce. 56% of Internet users trading via social channels offer second-hand goods, 22% offer various services, and 14% offer new products.

Social platforms are the only trading channel for 55% of Internet users. Individuals prefer to sell on classified ad platforms (71%), less often via social networks (37%). The biggest number private sellers are operating via Avito (65% of all users involved in social commerce), followed by Youla (39%), VKontakte (33%), and Instagram (9%). Social media users most often sell products and services via thematic groups (51% of respondents), personal pages (47%), own groups (29%), advertising (17%), publications from bloggers (10%).

The appeal of social platforms as a sales channel will continue growing: 28% of users want to learn how to work with platforms they have not used yet, 27% plan to increase sales, 23% want to extend the product list.

Payment methods

Private sellers and companies have different payment processes. Companies have ready-made payment tools at their disposal, while users are offered private transfer services. About 67% of respondents among C2C sellers accept online payments at social platforms: 45% to bank cards, 15% to e-wallets, 13% to bank accounts, 9% via direct carrier billing. Cash payments are accepted by 63% of respondents.

Companies trading via social platforms deal with a different situation: only 36% accept cash (via payments to courier or pick-up). 50% of companies accept payments from bank cards, 40% via online banking, 38% from e-wallets. Every third company (31%) deliberately completes the transaction not at a social platform, but on its own website where the choice of payment methods is usually wider. Nevertheless, 7% of companies plan to start accepting online payments directly in social channels.


The full version of the report you can download here.



About the study
The Yandex.Checkout and Data Insight study was conducted in spring and summer of 2018. It involved 3,014 Internet users aged 14 to 54 as well as 207 companies. The following resources were classified as social platforms: social networks (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, Instagram, My World@Mail.Ru, LiveJournal, Spaces), classified ad platforms (Avito,, Youla, Drom, Farpost,, N1), instant messengers (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Skype, SnapChat, ICQ, Agent), sharing economy websites (Airbnb,, YouDo, Remontnik, Pomogatel, BlaBlaCar,, Etsy).

About Data Insight
Data Insight is the Internet research agency in Russia. The company provides analytics and consulting services in the e-commerce and online advertising markets. Data Insight's studies are based on active market monitoring, critical analysis of the full range of available data, and the combination of various research methods. For more information, visit

About Yandex.Checkout
Yandex.Checkout is the leading service for accepting online payments in Russia, according to a 2018 survey by MARC. Yandex.Checkout received the Emerging Payment Award at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference (Berlin) in 2017. With this payment solution, merchants from all over the world can offer Russian consumers the online payment methods most popular among Russians and CIS-citizens: bank cards, e-wallets, mobile phones, and cash via mobile retailers and payment kiosks (there are over 250 thousand cash-acceptance points all over CIS). Currently, more than 90,000 online stores across the globe use Yandex.Checkout.
Yandex.Checkout was launched by Yandex.Money in 2013. Yandex.Money is the joint venture of search engine Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), and Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia.