January 15, 2021 20:00

Gaidar Forum 2021: E-Commerce. Post-Pandemic Hangover

Gaidar Forum 2021: E-Commerce. Post-Pandemic Hangover

How has the pandemic changed consumer behavior? Should online go back to offline? How will logistics services change? On the second day of the Gaidar Forum, participants in the expert discussion "E-Commerce. Post-Pandemic Hangover" discussed the future of e-commerce.

Among the participants in the discussion were Maxim Akimov, CEO of the Russian Post, Dmitry Sergeev, CEO of AliExpress Russia, and Dmitry Zhulin, the founder of SberMarket. Florian Jansen, Member of the Management Board, Deputy CEO - Executive Director of Magnit, acted as a moderator.

In his speech, Maxim Akimov, CEO of the Russian Post, highlighted the main trends, according to which e-commerce will develop. "We estimate that 10 million consumers have entered the e-commerce market and they had not bought anything electronically prior to that. They came into the market and I do not think they will come back to offline consumption, in some segments for sure," he said. Another trend, according to Mr Akimov, is the shift from cross-border to local trade and increased consumer demands. People "don't want to wait for two weeks, they want the delivery tomorrow".

Dmitry Sergeev, CEO of AliExpress Russia, talked about yet another trend in the Russian market: "There are unique Russian factors, among them is the huge territory of Russia as the largest country in the world. This means in many regions e-commerce provides access to assortment rather than convenience."

According to Mr Sergeev, people in the regions order online simply because they cannot buy some products in their local store. In this regard, he continued, fast delivery is not yet a requirement of all consumers. 

Magnit is a discussion partner of Gaidar Forum 2021. Magnit is one of Russia’s leading food retailers by the number of stores and geography of their locations. As of the end of 2020, the company had over 21,000 outlets across 65 regions of Russia. The company is present in more than 3,800 locations and nearly 12 million people visit its stores every day. In addition to sales, the chain produces foodstuffs under private labels. The company operates several vegetable, grocery and confectionery businesses. Magnit owns some of the largest greenhouses and mushroom growing facilities in Russia.


Photographer: Gavriil Grigorov / TASS

The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.

This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.

The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.

The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.

General media partners: TASS, Business FM, RIA Novosti, RBC. Strategic media partners: Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant Publishing House, RIA FederalPress, Invest-Foresight magazine. Main media partners: Anews, News.ru, lenta.ru. International media partners: Russia Today.

Media partners: PRO Business TV channel, AEI PRIME, Polit.ru, Strategy magazine, Public Administration magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Finam, Bankovskoye Obozreniye magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Snob media project, Echo of Moscow radio station, Nauchno-Obrazovatelnaya Politika Telegram channel.