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Russia Ranked 3rd for Online Sales Potential

With its expanding base of Internet users, Russia ranks third among emerging markets with the highest potential for online sales growth, with more retailers placing bets on its $9 billion market for electronic commerce to develop business, a consulting company said in a survey.

Russia boasts 60 million Internet users – the largest online population in Europe – and 15 million online shoppers, making it the most attractive market for online retail sales after China and Brazil, according to the survey by A.T. Kearney released late last Monday.

The size of the country's market for online retail is expected to reach $16 billion by 2016, with domestic retailers like grocery chain X5 Retail Group launching websites for online purchases, and  foreign companies like Spanish apparel maker Mango committed to developing online trade in the country, the survey said.

The ranking of 10 emerging markets also includes Chile, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Uruguay, Turkey and Oman.

But the survey also said that unlike many of its peers on the list, Russia has yet to address a number of issues like poor financial infrastructure, regulation and logistics problems to ensure sustainable growth of online sales across the country, with 70 percent of the sales still concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

"Russia's e-commerce market is hampered by poor digital consumer protection laws and active, regular censorship of digital content, so the key to growth is building trust with Russian consumers," the survey said.

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