Russian business daily RBK reported that the leading Russian online search engine Yandex.ru decided to change the rules for featuring products on its marketplace Yandex.Market. The new system gives preference to the products sold directly in Yandex’s store, which is currently the option of choice for approximately 20% of the suppliers present on the marketplace. Naturally, this is advantageous for Yandex, as the Russian online heavyweight earns a higher commission for products sold on its pages than for redirection to retailers’ sites. According to Yandex, it currently earns 5.38% of the total sales generated on its Yandex.Market platform.
Yandex will give preference to suppliers that agree to sell their products in its store, placing their offer at the top of respective search results. The new model will be introduced in phases, starting with Moscow and ending with distant regions by the end of 2017. At this point, it will affect 179 most popular product categories, including computers, home appliances, car accessories and baby program. Yandex.Market features approximately 2.000 product categories from 20.000 domestic and foreign Internet stores.
While Yandex believes that a single interface will contribute to customer loyalty, the new system will probably force some products with lower margins to leave its marketplace.
Russian portal Slon.ru published a transcript of the interview with Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Russian businessman who enjoyed USD 9 billion of his worth before he was apprehended for participation in the allegedly illegal privatization of Bashneft oil company that the Russian Government seeked and managed to annul, apparently for the purpose of re-privatization (in lack of a better term for this uncanny process), this time by the state-owned Rosneft. The interview is interesting for Evtushenkov’s blase attitude to what certainly looks like a coarse extortion (not long before his arrest, Evtushenkov refused Rosneft’s offer to take Bashneft off his hands) and his complete resignation to the state of affairs in Russia. Asked about the frequent crackdowns on Russian businessmen including Viktor Vekselberg, Mikhail Slobodin (former CEO of a Russian mobile operator Vimpelkom), Mikhail Prokhorov, former director of Rosnano Leonid Melamed, owner of the Domodedovo airport Dmitry Kamenshchik (apprehended under ridiculous charges of gross negligence for failing to prevent the 2011 terrorist attack at the airport that left 37 people dead), Evtushenkov calmly replied: “What can I tell you? This is our homeland”. Perhaps this is a point that too many people in Russia tend to carry home.