Products of the Month

Ozon to update its loyalty programme with the addition of cashback and premium sellers
Ozon is improving the terms of its loyalty programme and introducing an additional option for customers: cashback in the form of Ozon points for purchases of premium goods. The range of products in this category will be determined by premium sellers, who will receive exclusive opportunities to operate in the marketplace.

Basic cashback in the updated Ozon Premium programme will amount to up to 5% of the product price. Customers will also be able to spend cashback points on premium goods at the rate of one rouble per point. It will be possible to use points to pay for up to 99% of the purchase price.

The updated Ozon Premium offering will be available beginning 15 June. From that moment on, more than a million premium products from marketplace sellers will appear on the site, and their number will only grow. Cashback for all Ozon Express products will be available by default.

At the same time, the current subscription rates will not change; subscriptions will continue to offer the exclusive discounts with which users are already familiar, along with simplified procedures for returning items and free shipping.

Premium products and sellers

Products for which cashback is available will be sold only by premium sellers. Their special status will give them, first and foremost, access to the loyalty programme's unique audience. According to Ozon's statistics, the average ticket of these customers is 60% higher than that of non-members.

Premium status will highlight a seller's products on the virtual shelf. Premium sellers will also have priority access to technical support and increased delivery limits at Ozon fulfilment centres.

Another advantage of being a premium seller is that cashback is co-financed by Ozon itself – the marketplace will at least double the seller's points for a product. Participation in the loyalty programme for sellers is completely voluntary. Entrepreneurs have to give their consent, and they can also leave the programme at any time.

In order to obtain premium status, a seller needs to sell goods at prices that are no higher than market prices and that have an average product score of at least 4.5. For sellers that deliver from their own warehouses (FBS model), the timeliness of deliveries will also be taken into account in addition to the price and points for goods.

If a premium seller no longer meets the requirements for the status by, for example, increasing their prices, they will have two weeks to fix the problem; after that, they will lose their status.

Vahe Ovasapyan, Vice President for Digital Financial Services at Ozon, said: "We have made a truly cooperative loyalty programme, a significant part of which is now formed by marketplace sellers. At the same time, we are more than doubling our reward points offering: this is Ozon's contribution to supporting the business of our entrepreneurs. And the best part is that the benefits that sellers and Ozon give to shoppers, the shoppers will spend on premium goods – that is, they will also be supporting entrepreneurs."

Ozon launches service marketplace
Ozon has introduced third-party services to its multi-category online platform, bringing offerings from trusted service providers across various categories to its customers. The new Ozon Services project offers a nearly unlimited range of services spanning from medical check-ups to city tours, educational courses, handyman services and fitness training.

Ozon has introduced third-party services to its multi-category online platform, bringing offerings from trusted service providers across various categories to its customers. The new Ozon Services project offers a nearly unlimited range of services spanning from medical check-ups to city tours, educational courses, handyman services and fitness training.

Ozon is expanding its marketplace offering to include services of third-party contractors on its website. More than 800 offerings across 12 service categories are already available on Ozon Services, and this number continues to grow with the addition of new third-party partners.

Purchasing a service on Ozon Services is identical to ordering items on the marketplace: after a customer reviews a service on the marketplace, he or she can add it to his basket and make a purchase via any of the available payment methods (credit card, Apple Pay, Ozon points, etc.). After placing the order, the customer receives instructions and a unique code that is also sent to the service provider.

Ozon Services offers online services as well as offline services that are available in the region where both the contractor and the customer are located. Currently, the service marketplace is accessible to a limited pool of customers in Moscow, and by the end of March it will become available to all customers in the region. In April, Ozon Services will begin to operate across all of Russia.

To implement the service, Ozon used the traditional marketplace approach. A contractor registers on the website as a merchant, creates product cards with detailed information about the service, and starts operating on the site based on the sales commission model. For most service categories, the commission levied by Ozon amounts to 5%.

In turn, Ozon performs due diligence on the contractor and verifies that the contractor holds the necessary permits to perform the service. Ozon also establishes the price of services as well as processing the payment and overseeing the delivery of services.

Sergey Petushkov, Director of Ozon Services, commented:

"We are continuing to expand the capabilities and convenience of the platform for our customers and contractor businesses. For many years, we have offered customers a wide selection of products, and now we are ready to offer them an extensive range of services, including ones that are complementary to our products. Unlike other market players, Ozon Services is not limited to specific categories of services and follows the overall structure of our marketplace, where a wide range of sellers meet an unlimited customer audience. Many businesses still only use SEO promotion and performance tools – now they get access to an organic stream of customers who trust the Ozon brand and are ready to purchase services 'here and now'."

Ozon launches group buying service
Customers can buy goods at wholesale prices on the Ozon mobile app.

Ozon is the first among Russian marketplaces to launch a group buying service, which allows sellers to sell large quantities of goods from 10 units and up. Customers will be able to make group purchases at discounts starting from 20%.

The procedure for group buying is similar to a regular Ozon order. Customers add products to their cart, pay for them using their preferred method and wait until the remaining customers in the group place an order. The order is canceled if enough customers do not make a purchase within 30 days.

Group buying offers are published by marketplace sellers, and participation in the service is voluntary. Sellers independently set the size of the discount – which must start at 20% – as well as any limits on the purchase and the period during which orders must be placed. This format allows sellers to sell goods in bulk and thereby save on logistics.

Evgeny Shirinkin, Chief Product Officer at Ozon, commented:
"Group buying is a trend that is actively spreading across the global e-commerce market. For Ozon, this is another step towards making the site even more convenient for its customers and sellers. Customers now have another option to find good deals, while sellers have another mechanism for managing their sales and assortment – for example, for testing new product categories or selling their backstock."

The service is currently available to users of the Ozon mobile app. At the first stage of the service launch, customers can buy goods from sellers who trade from their warehouse. The service will soon become available on the web version of the Ozon site, and the option for group buying will expand to goods that are sold from the Ozon warehouse.

Ozon launches tipping service for couriers
Ozon, a leading multi-category online platform, has launched its 'tip a courier' service. This new service, available on the Ozon app, lets customers leave a tip for the courier who delivered their order within two weeks of receiving it.

Now any consumer has the option to tip their courier. The Ozon app suggests several different tipping options, varying by amount. Depending on how the order was paid for, tips can be left via Apple Pay or bank card. Going forward, Ozon will incorporate even more payment methods.

During the first few hours of the pilot launch, customers left almost 200 tips, with an average tip of 110 roubles.

At present, the system only lets customers tip a test group of couriers. Over time, however, the Company plans to extend this option across all of its network of couriers.

"The ability to leave tips exists in the taxi and delivery services industries. With this new service, Ozon has brought this option into the online marketplace sector. We intentionally decided to launch this service towards the end of the year ahead of the holiday season and the subsequent big uptick in sales. Sales tend to rise substantially during this part of the year, and as a result, so does the workload of our couriers. This service is a win-win for all. Customers can now thank their couriers, while couriers can receive acknowledgement and praise for high quality service, " commented Stanislav Kondratyev, Director of Logistics and Customer Service at Ozon.

Ozon launches insurance platform
Ozon is beginning to incorporate insurance services into its ecosystem. The first product on offer on the marketplace is OSAGO. More products will be added to the insurance platform in 2021. Ozon intends to offer insurance for legal entities, including both sellers and platform partners, on top of the B2C insurance services already available.

This will let Ozon act as a go-between, allowing the client to browse a wide range of potential offers from leading market players. Ozon has worked with a number of partners to facilitate the launch of OSAGO. These partners include Tinkoff Insurance, Alfa Insurance, Soglasie, MAKS, VSK Insurance House, and Renaissance Insurance. The number of partners will continue to expand, with other leading insurance companies coming on board.

Customers can apply for a policy directly through Ozon, without switching to any of our partner sites. The OSAGO process is completely electronic, with clients receiving their policy by mail and on their Ozon account page.

"Insurance is yet another fintech service incorporated into the Ozon ecosystem. It is designed to make the platform even more convenient for users, allowing us to take care of almost all of our customers' needs in one place. Ozon has more than 11 million loyal customers. Amongst these are motorists and car lovers, both of whom can now purchase basic insurance via the familiar and user-friendly Ozon platform. We have chosen to launch with OSAGO, a policy which can be easily processed online. In the near future, we will expand the list of available products and bring even more partners on board," said Vahe Ovasapyan, Vice President, Digital Finance at Ozon.

Ozon.Travel launches corporate travel service for medium and large-sized companies
This B2B service, operating under the name 'Ozon Business Trips', will help streamline the process of organising business travel. Organisers can use the online service to ensure that all the necessary approvals are obtained. In addition, all essential documentation is automatically generated.

2020 has seen a sharp reduction in business travel. Nevertheless, travel both within Russia and to a handful of specific countries has continued. During this time, both medium and large-sized companies have been actively trying to find more efficient ways to organise their business travel. The 'Ozon Business Trips' service was launched to meet this growing demand.

As a rule, organising business trips in medium and large-sized companies falls to one of three groups of people: employees hired specifically for this task, contractors from travel agencies, or individual employees. In any case, this task often involves a lot of back-and-forth. In addition, having employees hired specifically for this task has not proven to be 100% effective, since the total number of business trips continues to decline. The 'Ozon Business Trips' service automates this whole process, applying best OTA platform practices from across the B2C industry and taking into account the specific needs of each company.

Employees can choose a range of services needed for their business trip. These include booking airplane and train tickets, making hotel reservations, arranging transportation and providing assistance in obtaining visas. At the same time, the system allows companies to set business travel tiers for its employees, and even set spending limits for them. Thanks to this system, companies no longer need to separately coordinate flight and hotel booking. You can complete transactions without additional approvals, and the service will send all relevant documents straight to your company, using its electronic document management system. Previously, organisers had to specifically request these documents from travel agents or airlines. Companies can either pay for their business trips at the time of booking, or at a later date by using the deferred payment function.

Ozon.Travel already partners with several small and medium-sized companies. The 'Ozon Business Trips' service, however, has taken into account the needs of larger businesses, such as the need for tiers of business travelers within a company, reporting features and document management. Ozon.Tarvel has been beta testing its service with Ozon, a part of Ozon Group.

"Ozon.Travel is in demand not only for private trips – around 10% of all tickets purchased on the site in 2020 involved corporate travel. This demand from the corporate sector has pushed us to think deeply about the specific needs of these types of customers. By launching this new service, we hope to provide companies with the opportunity to more efficiently organise their business trips. This is done by simplifying approval and reporting processes. We are also continuing to develop our existing services, which target small and medium-sized businesses. We are always trying to improve these existing products, which our clients know and love," said Michael Osin, CEO at Ozon.Travel.

At present, the service includes more than 800 airlines, Russian Railways, Alfa Insurance and a million of hotels. A tаxi service, visa assistance and airport business lounge booking are currently only available on request. The service is in beta-testing ahead of a full launch in 2021. The service is integrated with Amadeus, Sabra and Sirena-travel systems, as well as with a variety of airlines directly. It compares prices from this wide range of different systems and allows customers to choose the cheapest and most convenient options.