Obuv Rossii to launch online marketplace

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Obuv Rossii Group will develop an online marketplace based on the webstore of its main brand, Westfalika.ru. The marketplace model will be used to sell products not provided in Group’s stores – large-size items that cannot fit the shopping space or products of a higher price tier. Also, some products of third-party suppliers which the company will accept on consignment in its stores. The project will allow Obuv Rossii to enhance the retail efficiency without increasing sales area, and to enlarge the online customer group due to customers from small towns where the e-tailing penetration level is not very high and due to older customers, who are not much experienced in online purchases. According to the company’s plans, the online marketplace, having achieved its full capacity, will increase the retail proceeds by over 30% in the next two years.

It will be possible to order products in the online marketplace or the stores: special places will be equipped and monitors will be installed in the sales outlets allowing online orders then and there. The project will start in March in the test mode in more than 30 stores of the company in 11 cities of the Siberian region such as Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Barnaul, Biysk, Omsk, Novokuznetsk, Gorno-Altaisk, etc. In the second half of the year, other regions will be included in the project – in 2021 it will operate at full capacity and throughout the network. The range of goods in the online marketplace will also be expanded.

“The main audience of our online marketplace are people who don’t have much experience in online purchasing yet. They include those who live in small regional towns where we have been opening our stores over the past two years (we doubled our retail network in 2018-2019 and entered more than 220 new towns.) The level of e-tail penetration in such settlements is still not very high. In addition, customers of older age that are rather conservative and still feel suspicious about purchasing anything in online stores. With this purpose, we equip stores with special places where selling assistants will help customers make online orders,” says Anton Titov, CEO of Obuv Rossii Group. “An online marketplace will also allow us to significantly extend our offer due to products that are not available in our stores because of limited floor space.” 

Company stores offer some additional services including payments in instalments. All sales outlets are equipped with special working zones with a computer, Internet access, etc. While the customer is waiting for the contract to be prepared (this procedure takes 10-15 minutes), the shop assistant will suggest choosing and buying something from the westfalika.ru marketplace. All products will be available with payments in instalments. The products can be delivered to the store or to some other address chosen by the customer. At the first stage, the warehouse of the online marketplace will be organised in Novosibirsk, therefore the products will be delivered to 30 pilot stores that are located in the Siberian region from there. In the future, when the project starts working all over the network, some sites at regional Company’s warehouses will be used. 

The main Obuv Rossii’s e-commerce website westfalika.ru will also operate as a usual online store (the range of shoes, clothing, accessories) and as a marketplace (new product categories, not presented in retail or presented in a limited amount and not all over the network). Products that will be available in the marketplace include large-size products (household goods, products for summer houses, children’s products) as well as products of a higher price tier (Bohemia Czech glassware, etc.)