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What problems does the Ozon marketplace have now and are they really laying off employees en masse

On April 19, 2022, Forbes wrote that Ozon had reduced some of its employees to save costs after the start of a “special operation” in Ukraine. However, Ozon immediately denied this information. Maria Zaikina, Director of Communications and B2B Marketing at Ozon, said that there were no mass layoffs in the company, but there were individual cases of project optimization, for example, the referral program and Ozon Services. According to a company representative, dozens of vacancies are now open. Pro Business decided to find out what was happening with the popular marketplace and talked to Stepan Gusamov, director of Ozon Global.

Stepan Gusamov
Director of Ozon Global

“In Belarus, we will continue to invest in business and infrastructure”

— What are the company’s plans for development in Russia and Belarus in the new crisis?

— This year, Ozon plans to increase turnover by 80%. In 2021, we doubled our warehouse capacity, tripled the number of pickup points, increased the number of couriers, and invested heavily in IT infrastructure. In particular, we launched the first sorting center in Belarus and opened more than 100 pick-up points. With this investment, we have a strong base to support business growth this year.

Speaking separately about the Belarusian market, we see that our range and service are more than in demand in the region. At any time, especially in times of crisis, people need FMCG products (FMCG) approx. “About business”), clothes for the whole family and much more. This is especially true for residents of the regions – the assortment in retail stores is usually not very diverse, and almost everything can be ordered online. Therefore, in our plans to develop business in Belarus, we will continue to invest in business and infrastructure.

– What’s going on with the company? Planning to expand or reduce staff?

— Now the company’s Russian representative office has dozens of vacancies in various departments — from supervisors in logistics to marketers, analysts and developers. Directly in Belarus, we are developing the logistics infrastructure and the “last mile” (delivery of orders to the end customer, — approx. “About business”) for the convenience of Belarusian sellers and buyers.

“We will attract new sellers from Belarus to sales”

— Do you plan to expand the range? Will there be more local products on Ozon due to sanctions and the crisis?

– In the current situation, the marketplace has shown itself to be an extremely stable model – the storefront has goods from different sellers and suppliers. That is, even if one seller suspends sales, offers from other sellers will remain on the site instead of his goods. Moreover, we can expand the assortment even further – for example, we plan to attract new sellers from Belarus to sales.

Now Ozon users in Belarus have access to the entire range of the platform — more than 35 million items in 20 different categories. This spring, the demand for components from foreign manufacturers has noticeably increased. Thus, in March and April, most often, residents of Belarus ordered components and accessories for cars, hunting equipment, accessories for photographic equipment on Ozon. Also in April, the demand for goods for Easter, pet supplies and laundry detergents grew strongly.

At the end of 2021, the number of sellers on our site in Belarus increased 30 times compared to 2020, and the sales volume of Belarusian sellers increased 118 times. We offer Belarusian manufacturers a platform to promote a wide variety of products both on the local, Russian and other foreign markets. Now there are more than 25 million active buyers on Ozon – these are people who purposefully come to the marketplace for shopping. There are advertising tools for sellers on Ozon that will allow them to stand out from other competitors’ offers and build a loyal audience around the brand. Marketplaces (and Ozon among them) certainly open up new opportunities for entrepreneurs – going online gives a multiple increase in sales and an incentive to develop the product and business as a whole.

– What happens to your franchisees – do you help them somehow? Will new pickup points be opened in Belarus and Russia in 2022?

— We recently launched a franchise of pickup points in Belarus. At the first stage, we open outlets only in Minsk, in the second wave we plan to open outlets in other regions of the country. Now about 100 branded outlets are open in Minsk. They are owned by local entrepreneurs – they issue orders to customers, and we pay them a remuneration from the turnover in outlets. To support agents from Belarus at the start, we have kept a double reward for the first three months of the life of the point. This means that instead of the usual 4.4% for the first 90 days, the partner receives 8.8%. We also provide all partners with free promotional materials, including a facade sign. Recently, we have also launched enhanced marketing support for outlets, including outdoor advertising, which should encourage customers to order parcels at agent points more often.

Are you already seeing a change in transport routes? How is the logistics going now?

“We have seen changes in some logistics routes, as have many other companies, but all of our orders have continued to ship as normal. We deliver goods from Russia through local logistics operators from Belarus, as well as using our own Ozon logistics.

In June 2021, Ozon entered into a partnership with Belpochta. Now Ozon orders can be received in more than 3,000 post offices throughout Belarus. This allowed us to provide a wider geography for the delivery of goods – so, almost every resident of Belarus, from Malorita to Vitebsk, will be able to receive an Ozon parcel within walking distance from their home.

Also in October last year, we opened a new sorting center in Minsk. This logistics facility not only opened sellers’ access to a wide audience in Belarus, but also expanded delivery options: previously, sellers had to transport goods on their own or look for contractors among transport companies.

Company reporting: revenue increased, but losses also continue to grow

— What income and expenses are recorded by the parent company Ozon now?

— According to audited results for the full year 2021, Ozon’s turnover in 2021 grew by 127% to 448.3 billion Russian rubles ($6.5 billion), revenue – by 71%, to 178.2 billion Russian rubles ($2 billion). .6 billion). The number of orders in 2021 increased three times (202%) to 223.3 million. The number of active buyers in 2021 increased by more than 86% and exceeded 25.6 million.

Adjusted EBITDA was minus 41.2 billion Russian rubles ($0.6 billion) in 2021, compared to minus 11.7 billion Russian rubles ($0.17 billion) a year earlier. The loss in 2021 amounted to 56.8 billion Russian rubles ($0.8 billion) against 22.3 billion Russian rubles ($0.32 billion) in 2020. First of all, this indicator is due to large-scale investments in the expansion of logistics infrastructure and investments in attracting new customers and employees to gain market share.

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My profession is a journalist, but my hobby for 8 years has been studying Forex investing and trading. During this time, I managed to gain extensive experience in investing and trading cryptocurrencies and double my capital in the Forex market. To be the author of this magazine, the site owners invited me to participate in one of the 2020 trading webinars, and I will try to reveal the most relevant crypto market news for you.

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