MINSK, 11 July (BelTA) – The number of online stores in Belarus has surged 3.5 times over the last five years, Violetta Brezovskaya, Head of the Department for the Organization of Trade and Services at the Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry, told a press conference on 10 July, BelTA has learned.
As of 1 July 2017, there were over 15,000 online stores in Belarus, 51% of them owned by private entrepreneurs and 48% by legal entities. The majority of online stores are registered in Minsk and Minsk Oblast.
According to Violetta Brezovskaya, online sales have been growing. In 2010-2016 online retail sales in Belarus ballooned 25.8 times. In 2010 the share of online trade in Belarus’ retail was 0.5% and totaled 2.8% in early 2017. The largest share in retail (80%) is made up by non-food items: electronic devices, spareparts, accessories, knitwear, perfumery, cosmetics, outerwear, and sanitary equipment. “The number of domestic manufacturers using the internet and setting up their own online stores has been increasing. The online store of the national postal service operator Belpochta is involved in this process, too. The website features over 217 domestic manufacturers. More than 45,000 deliveries were made in 2016,” Violetta Brezovskaya emphasized.
The Belarusians go shopping in foreign online stores, too. The Chinese ones are leading, accounting for 21% of Belarusian users. They are followed by Russia (11%). The main items ordered are clothes, footwear, home appliances, and electronic devices. The goods are mostly delivered by international mail and freight shipping.
Violetta Brezovskaya cited the main avenues of online trade development in Belarus in 2017, namely the further opening of online stores by the Belarusian manufacturers, the increasing role of the government in protecting consumer rights, the development of regional logistics, cheaper and quicker delivery, the growing share of sales via mobile devices and pads, the symbiotic development of online stores and online trading platforms. At the moment nearly 60% of the Belarusians are internet users.