AliExpress eyes wider partnership with Russia

The latest estrangement between Russia and the West turned out to be favourable to manufacturers and retailers from China, India and ASEAN countries. Asian companies are eager to fill the gap left by European suppliers. AliExpress, which is already extremely popular with Russian customers, sees huge prospects for further development.

AliExpress online retail service considers Russia to be a market of significant growth potential, says Channel EMEA. According to General Manager of AliExpress Leo Shen, who has visited Russia five times in the last two years, the Russian market has huge prospects and enormous opportunities of boosting retail trade via electronic platforms. ''Development of e-commerce in Russia resembles now the situation observed in China several years ago,'' he stated in an interview.

The existing Western sanctions also help brands from China, India and ASEAN countries build business ties with Russia. Chris Devonshire-Ellis, the founder of Dezan Shira & Associates, said: ''AliExpress' experience is really taking up the loose reins that the EU left dangling when they imposed sanctions on Russia. Europe will find they have no business opportunities to go back to in Russia once the sanctions are lifted.'' He believes that the creation of a trade corridor between Russia and Asia is a hot subject right now. ''The supply chain is changing and Asian MNCs from China, ASEAN and India are all looking to get into the Russian market. The EU's self-inflicted loss is Asia's gain,'' added the expert.

AliExpress, which is already extremely popular with Russian customers, sees huge prospects for further development. Photo:

As for AliExpress, the trading floor is already popular in Russia. In 2014, it became Russia's most visited e-commerce platform and one of the country's most visited websites. The company's further plans include deployment of a three-stage development strategy in Russia. The first stage was intended to connect the Russian and the Chinese markets by means of a new online trading floor and to make Russian consumers get used to buying goods via the Internet. In China, it took AliExpress ten years to argue consumers into advantages of e-commerce, said Leo Shen.

''Hence, we are forming an e-commerce concept through the AliExpress floor and help our payment and transport partners in Russia to develop an appropriate operating infrastructure,'' added AliExpress' general manager. ''We initiated the second stage this year, where we plan to provide support to Russian manufacturers and trademarks in selling their products via the AliExpress platform on the domestic market. The third stage for Russia will be in helping small and medium Russian companies to enter international markets through our platform.''

Meanwhile, in 2015, the company already had a pilot project with Russian manufacturers. Unfortunately, the project named ''Fashion. Made in Russia'' had little success due to a small quantity of orders.

By Anna Litvina