One of the nuances of the Russian market is payments. Unlike the U.S. and Western Europe where credit cards are the norm, Russians’ use cash-on-delivery, Yandex Money, and Web Money in addition. Offering cash-on-delivery (the most popular payment method) is almost a requirement, as 100% of Beauty brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Russia Luxury that offer e-commerce in Russia accept cash-on-delivery.

A few brands have adapted well to this complex payments system, like Yves Rocher which accepts payments in all four forms in the graph in addition to PayPal. Fashion brands are a little slower, with less than half accepting COD.

Delivery challenges continue to weigh on e-commerce businesses in Russia. A new bill drafted by Russia’s Finance Ministry promises to lower the limit on tax-free purchases mailed by a carrier or international mail service to €150 from €1000. The delivery challenges have created gaps in fulfillment. For example, just 62% of the brands offering e-commerce in Russia provide shipping date estimates. And Clinique, Lacoste, and Burberry are the only three brands that accept returns for non-defective products.

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