Ozon launched its own grocery delivery service in October 2019. At the start of the project, the fast delivery service covered the Tsaritsyno and Moskvorechye-Saburovo regions of Moscow. In 2020, Ozon Express added seven more dark stores in Moscow, bringing their total to eight. Now, express delivery by courier within one hour is available throughout Moscow within the Moscow Ring Road, as well as in the districts of Yuzhny Butovo, Khimki and Krasnogorsk. Same-day delivery is also available in densely populated areas of the Moscow region, such as Odintsovo, Balashikha, Podolsk and others. In 2021, the service is set to be expanded beyond the Moscow region.
The full coverage of Moscow with fast delivery resulted in a significant improvement in the service’s performance, which was especially important during high season over the winter holidays:
- Sales turnover on a like-for-like assortment basis rose nine-fold year-on-year in December 2020. Sales turnover grew 16.5 times year-on-year when taking into account new categories and an expanded assortment;
- The number of orders in December 2020 increased by 8.3 times;
- The average check in December exceeded RUB 3,000, which is twice the amount of the average check in December 2019.
In addition to infrastructure development, the growth of Ozon Express was driven by a significant expansion in product assortment. At the time of its launch, the service offered 6,000 SKU's, which has since expanded to more than 22,000. Aside from food, customers can buy fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), electronics, pet supplies, medicines, products for mothers and children, and items for car owners. More than 20 product categories are presented in total.
In 2020, grocery items accounted for 60% of goods purchased through Ozon Express. The most popular products were Greek yogurt, sweetened dairy snacks, tofu cheese, chicken fillets and hot dogs. Non-food categories accounted for the remaining 40% of purchased goods.
In September 2020, Ozon was first among Russian marketplaces to launch express delivery for personal electronics, first for Apple products and later for products by Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei, Honor, Sony and Philips. As a result, the Smartphones and Tablets category accounted for 12% of total sales on Ozon Express in 2020. In December 2020, the Smartphones and Tablets together with the wider Electronics category accounted for 42% of total sales turnover on Ozon Express. Users actively purchased a variety of gadgets and appliances as gifts, using the fast delivery option.
Elena Shulgina, Business Development Director at Ozon Express, commented:
“We have been developing Ozon Express for just over a year, but this was perhaps the most important time to attract and to understand customers who prefer home delivery.
Many services have already established a habit among residents of large cities of buying essential products online, which can be ordered to one’s office or home before breakfast. However, self-isolation and teleworking have created a need for the fast delivery of a wider product assortment that would be more typically found in a hypermarket. And these are no longer spontaneous impulse purchases – the average Ozon Express check shows that large grocery purchases are moving online.
At the same time, we see that customer purchases came to include products from more and more different categories throughout the year. This is the second major trend that emerged in the e-grocery market in 2020. Our experiment with express delivery of electronics has shown that customers want quick delivery of a wider range of products. Therefore, it was extremely important for us to combine the development of fast delivery infrastructure with satisfying customer demand for a wider product selection.”