There is a growing number of people in Russia buying products and services online. Many of those shoppers prefer foreign products and brands: they are often associated with higher quality, exclusivity and status. While some Russian online stores offer a variety of such goods, there is a greater abundance of them on global sites like Amazon and eBay. The problem is those sites are not well localized: their product selection is not translated into Russia, shipping does not work as smoothely as to other European countries and you cannot pay in Rubles. This gap is what Bay.ru is trying to fill: it is an e-commerce platform for Russian shoppers that lets them easily buy items from eBay, Amazon and the likes.
Headquartered in Chicago, the company has an office in Moscow and prides itself in being the only international e-commerce site to have a 24/7 Russian language customer support and sales call centers. Founded 4 years ago, the company recently attracted undisclosed amount of funding from Ginsburg Ventures. At the moment Bay.ru delivers items from over 200 online stores to an audience of 100,000 users (and growing) and their revenue is increasing 10%-30% monthly.
Focusing on Russian shoppers only and delivering them goods from sites they have hard time accessing otherwise is Bay.ru's main key to prosperity. To serve their audience, the company delivers goods to all across Russia and CIS, offers 50 different payment systems that are accepted in all of those locations, allows paying with Rubles and includes custom's charges into the prices of the product.
Plus, users can buy items from different stores and have them delivered in the same package. Facing fierce competition from Russian and global e-commerce platforms, Bay.ru tries to distringuish themselves further by taking all the responsibility for the products to match their description and be properly handled during delivery.
All the above puts Bay.ru in an interesting market position: it operates in Runet and caters for Russian users but the inventory they sell is located in Europe and US. While their goods are priced higher than in eBay or Amazon, the sheer convenience of the service is worth paying for.
In the end, if you are a Russian shopper frustrated with additional shipment charges, custom fees and the lack of guarantees from the webstore, having a service in your own language that takes care of all the problems would come as a breath of fresh air.