Top 30 online retailers in social media in 2020
Brand Analytics presents a rating of companies in the e-commerce segment, which were most discussed by users in Russian-speaking social media in 2020.
Lockdown has become one of the most powerful incentives to develop e-commerce, strengthening the position of players in the e-commerce segment in the Russian economy and changing consumer behavior. The drastic increase in the demand for online shopping has led to heightened discussion of online retailers. As a result, 26 million posts mentioning the rated companies in 2020.
Top-rated companies: all at once
AliExpress was the most talked about company. The Internet behemoth is leading by a wide margin: over the past year, users have mentioned Aliexpress more than 12.42 million times. The platform has gone from “a website to buy a couple of phone cases” to a powerful marketplace in the minds of consumers. In 2019, serious intentions to develop in Russia were confirmed by the creation of AliExpress Russia Joint Venture between Alibaba Group, Mail.ru Group, MegaFon, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The second place belongs to “Russian Amazon” — the Ozon online store. The year was successful for the company: in the first nine months of 2020, the retailer showed an increase in the number of orders by 130 % compared to the same period in 2019, the customer base grew up by 84 % in April-May 2020 alone. In late November, Ozon built on its success with an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange, which exceeded experts' expectations. The leading position in the market is confirmed by the public attention — 2.25 million references per year and the 2nd line of our rating.
The 3rd top company is Wildberries marketplace with 1.96 million references. According to the company data, more than 1.4 million orders are made on the marketplace every day: you can order food, household appliances, and even... airline tickets on the website or in the app. Interestingly, VKontakte users discussed purchases on Wildberries more often than others — they generated 52% of the total number of references.
Whereas the leading marketplaces in the rating are quite expected, the presence of some companies in the top came as a surprise. The consumer's interest in reading and the brand's activities in social media drove the online bookstore Labirint.ru to the 5th position in the rating. Of course, during the quarantine period, everyone was looking for entertainment to their liking, but the number of references to the company surpassed even delivery providers like Yandex.Eda (the 7th place) and Delivery Club (the 12th place). And at 15th position we see the jewelry brand Sokolov — an active marketing policy allowed the company to overtake such big e-commerce names as Lamoda (16), M.Video (18), and Gold Apple (23).
Trends of interest to online shopping: how the attention to online shopping was changing during the year
When building a dynamic rating of product categories in e-commerce, we excluded data on marketplaces in order to “see” the trends in other categories. Let's just note that the dynamics of marketplace discussions in 2020 was minimal. So, which areas have grown and which ones have lost their attractiveness in the eyes of consumers?
Grocery retail showed strong growth. Interestingly, the explosive interest was observed in the second half of 2020, and not during the spring lockdown. Having started the year with 26,000 references per month, interest in online grocery shopping peaked at 114,000 references in October.
In the end of the year, a final effort allowed “food delivery” to become the leader of the month — the category gathered almost 133,000 references in December. Noteworthy, interest to Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda fluctuated during the year, starting a trend towards permanent growth only from September 2020.
Having dropped down at the beginning of the year, “electronics” recovered by late spring and early summer. In the second half of the year, the situation in social media remained stable for the category. The whole year turned out to be well-balanced for “children's goods”. And “books” had a clear surge in the first wave of quarantine restrictions.
However, there are categories that have suffered losses, and user interest in them periodically decreased. The biggest drop was in “fashion shopping”: having started the year with 170,000 monthly references, by December the fashion segment was left only with 68,000 references. The decline was also noted in the “beauty and health” and “household goods” categories. Even seasonal sales and the traditional increase in attention on the eve of the New Year holidays did not save the situation.
Select a category: e-commerce category rating in 2020
Marketplaces (7 positions) are the category with the highest number of references: 19.34 million references per year. E-commerce platforms are the leaders in the rating: as many as 6 representatives of the category are among the top ten popular Internet retailers. Users choose AliExpress (1), Ozon (2), Wildberries (3), Sima-Land (4), Yandex.Market (6), Ebay (11), and goods.ru (30) because they can buy all the necessary goods at an attractive price in one place. Regular promotions and discounts, competitive pricing, and a wide range of products attract the users' attention.
Books (2 positions). Lockdown was an excellent opportunity to engage in self-development: the interest in books grew up again. In 2020, the Russian-speaking network users left 1.35 million references to the largest online bookstores — Labirint.ru (5) and LitRes (8). People actively shared links to their favorite books and published collections of literature for every occasion.
Electronics and household appliances (5 positions). The category includes the largest players from the offline segment, which started their activities as a physical business with retail space, queues at the checkout, and a plastic smile from a sales assistant in a branded polo shirt. M.Video (18), Citilink (19), Eldorado (20), DNS (21), and Svyaznoy (22) have a total of 1.1 million references.
It is curious that the players follow each other with only a slight margin. The absence of an obvious leader indicates high competition, where the choice in favor of a certain store is made due to more favorable conditions and promotions.
Clothes, shoes, and accessories (4 positions). Mandatory self-isolation was not a reason to miss fashion shopping.— There are 4 representatives of the segment in the rating and the total of 1.08 million references: these are ASOS (14), Sokolov (15), Lamoda (16), and 585 Zolotoy (24). Moreover, there are two jewelry brands on the list. Brands' constant activities and users' desire to “invest in something reliable” allowed this sub-segment to gain its share of fame in social media.
Food delivery (2 positions). The category experienced a rebirth during the pandemic: Yandex. Eda (7) took the 7th place in the rating, and its main competitor, Delivery Club (12), was very close to the top ten of the rating. In total, the companies received 931,000 references in social media and bypassed in popularity the neighboring grocery retail.
Grocery retail (4 positions). Market segment that showed the greatest growth during the pandemic is food retail (in total, it received 771,000 references in social media).
The most discussed project in the food segment was the grocery delivery from SberMarket (9), which was launched in 2019 on the basis of the Instamart online service. Eminent representatives of food retail are far behind the leaders. Pyaterochka (26), VkusVill (27), and Perekrestok (29) were developing digital sales even before the pandemic, but the lockdown prompted players to focus on the online shopping.
Health and beauty (2 positions). The epidemiological situation has brought a new segment to e-commerce — online pharmacies. The law on the online sale of drugs passed in early April 2020 allowed Apteka.ru website (10) to get into the Top 10 and receive more than 410,000 references. Among the representatives of cosmetic shopping, more often than others, users mentioned the Gold Apple online store (23), which went online “headlong” and continues to develop this sector.
Household goods (3 companies). Home comfort, which became a necessity during 24/7 stay at home period, encouraged users to share ideas and life hacks for home improvement and actively discuss brands in this category. IKEA's (13) focus on constant activities with social media users came in handy during the lockdown period: the brand took 13th place in the top rating. Other players in Top-30 are domestic DIY-retailer Petrovich (25) and furniture online store Stolplit (28). Such popularity of the category resulted in 543,000 references in social media.
Children's goods have only one representative in the rating but it's in a good position: the brand entered the top twenty. With a large number of competitors offline, in the digital space, Detsky Mir (17) became the leader in discussions.
One soldier does (not) make a battle: e-commerce development trends
Marketplaces have met the pandemic fully armed — they have long been offering customers comfortable shopping, a wide range of products, reasonable prices, and convenient delivery. The growth point for both marketplaces and brands was the sky-rocketed “rapport” — distribution and efficient sales through such channels became a key element of the survival strategy for brands. Not the only one, though. The second trend is the investment of significant resources in direct online sales, dark stores, and delivery services. The third trend is mergers / acquisitions and top players' IPO.
To build the rating, more than 28 billion Russian-speaking social media posts were analyzed for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The data includes messages from social networks VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, as well as blogs, forums, review sites, public messenger channels, comments on news articles, and other sources.
The rating included online retailers that allow to make a purchase and order delivery of goods to the territory of Russia, and also have a Russian interface. The study analyzed the popularity of all companies included in the “Rating of TOP-100 online stores in Russia” published by Data Insight, as well as the popularity of a number of new industry players. Companies offering digital multimedia content (music, films) were not included in the rating.
For both online and offline companies, popularity analysis only included references related to online sales. The rating results depend on the popularity of the company among users and their marketing activity.
This analytical review is prepared by Brand Analytics.