A first experience of Ukrainian e-commerce

About time for Beetroot’s second half to start screaming here as well (and not only at ryssen.se where I’ve been writing sporadically until now). Since me and Andreas often spend time at different places, doing different things and getting different experiences this will hopefully widen the picture of all the exciting activities we have going on down here.


For the moment we are both in Odessa establishing our new main base and office. We haven’t been this stationary in a long time which includes a lot of new experiences. For example, yesterday I did my first online purchase ever in Ukraine, at rozetka.com.ua. The conclusion is that e-commerce works quite different here than what I’m used to. However, the first steps are quite similar; choose the products you like, put them in your cart and proceed to checkout. This is when your world starts to turn upside down. The checkout includes a form where you fill out your name, address, phone number, way of delivery and payment method. The only two options for how to pay is by cash on delivery or by bank transfer (if you have an Ukrainian bank account), card payment is not an option. Delivery can either be made to your door for a democratic sum or for free to a central pickup point. You then press place order and get the message “thanks for your order, we will contact you soon”. It took 10 seconds before I got an sms confirming my order and 30 seconds before I got a call from a very polite sales person. He read out loud and asked me to confirm every single entry in the order form. We then discussed when it would be suitable to get the delivery since I need to be present to meet the delivery guy, show my face, sign some papers etc.

The fact that e-commerce works this way in Ukraine most probably depends on a built in mistrust in people, internet and electronic payments. It will probably take a while to overcome these doubts and until then, e-commerce will continue to work in this transitional, compromising way.  Anyway, good experience and I’m now awaiting my delivery on Saturday sometime between 12-16, will get back on the accuracy of this.

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