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Ozon transforms into a logistics platform

Ozon, a leading multi-channel online platform in the Russian e-commerce market, has announced plans to transform its delivery service. During 2020, the Company will shift to a logistics platform model, which means that most orders will be delivered by partners – small and medium-sized businesses that will employ thousands of workers across the country as a result of this change. The number of Ozon’s full-time delivery agents and the amount of orders they deliver will constitute only a small part of total deliveries. This approach has been successfully used by the global giants of e-commerce: more than 80% of Amazon’s deliveries currently involve partners, while Alibaba uses partners for 100% of its deliveries.

This model allows for the rapid scaling-up of deliveries under conditions of exponential growth (Ozon has grown by more than 80% in the last year and a half), and gives the Company more flexibility to manage capacity during times of peak demand, which are occurring almost every month at the current rate. It will make possible the launch of courier delivery in communities of any size, and will also stimulate the development of small logistics businesses in Russia, which, in their turn, will allow the e-commerce market to grow even further. The Russian e-commerce market is projected to grow by a factor of 3 by 2025, but a lack of infrastructure remains the main barrier to its growth – Russia is currently in 75th place in The Logistics Performance Index, a development rating of global logistics infrastructure.

The transition to a platform model will lead to staff optimisation and will gradually begin to involve delivery agents throughout the country. The development of the platform model will create thousands of jobs in small and medium-sized businesses across dozens of cities, who will be able to work not only for Ozon, but also for the entire e-commerce market.

Andrei Pavlovich, Supply Chain Director at Ozon, noted:

“Many foreign e-commerce giants originally built their businesses on the basis of partner delivery, and this was facilitated by the presence of large players providing delivery services for e-commerce nationwide. In Russia, such players do not exist per se. Therefore, as the leading player in e-commerce, we decided to create this platform ourselves. The first step was the launch in December 2019 of our logistics marketplace for the development of a last mile network of partner-operated pick-up points and automated parcel lockers. The transition to a platform delivery model follows this logic: it will make courier delivery possible in communities of any size across the country and will allow thousands of people to grow as entrepreneurs by providing logistics services.

We are actively developing our infrastructure in Moscow, St Petersburg, and other regions in order to provide even faster delivery to our customers, and that means that jobs will be created in every region at warehouse facilities, issuing points, and partner delivery services. We also expect to become a large partner for the self-employed in all regions where this system already came into force on 1 January 2020.”