Expert advises online stores to expand into China and Russia

Western e-commerce stores with an eye on international expansion have been told to look no further than the markets in Russia and China. writer and online shopping expert Ralf Gladis highlights that reaching out to other countries is a low-risk proposition that requires minimal investment. However, as he explains, businesses must think local with their strategy.

This will see them consider local language, local culture and behaviours when fine-tuning their website for the new market, while Mr Gladis also recommends a look into local currency and local payment methods. Of course, companies won’t have to worry too much about the latter if they use an online payment processor that is used internationally.

Companies are then forced to deal with the small matter of deciding where they want to expand to. Mr Gladis said Russia and China represented “low-hanging fruit” for Western brands, as both are set to welcome a huge amount of growth in the near future.

According to a study from financial services firm Morgan Stanley, posted at, Russia’s e-commerce industry will triple in volume over the next three years to reach $36 billion (£23 billion) by 2015.

A similar story is evident in China, where some 242 million consumers use the internet to purchase goods and services. In 2013, they’re expected to spend $265 billion (£170 billion).

Before stores make their big move abroad, Mr Gladis stressed once more that shop and product descriptions need to be adapted for local habits. He went on to state that “appropriate adjustments” need to be made to fit in with the local government and legal landscape. 

He concluded: “Provided the product fits the market, international economies promise a bright future and will be worth the effort for many retailers.”


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