Russian Railways Get Into Experienced Mobile Commerce

    RZD, the Russian state-owned railways monopoly, has just launched a free mobile app offering train schedules and allowing travelers to purchase electronic tickets. A click-to-call function allows users to reach the company’s call center easily.

    In contrast with the appalling usability of the company’s website, RZD’s mobile app, which we tested, is quite convenient. A few clicks is enough to choose your train and indicate your name and passport number. At the end of the procedure, payment can be made only by VISA or MasterCard bank cards, just like on the company’s website.

    When the purchase is complete, travelers receive a confirmation by SMS and their electronic ticket arrives via email.

    Although the number of mobile Internet users with smartphones exceeded 22 million in 2012, according to J’Son & Partners, mobile commerce is just starting in Russia. The first commercial mobile applications appeared only in 2011 from some large and mid-sized e-commerce companies – Anywayanyday, Biglion, Jizo, M.Video and Ozon were among the pioneers – and none have generated massive sales so far. Aeroflot airlines, as well as Russia’s main online marketplaces Yandex Market and, launched commercial mobile apps only in the second half of 2012.

    With a turnover of approximately $650 million in 2011, as estimated by Data Insight, RZD is by far the leading e-commerce operator in Russia.

    This post has been originally published by East-West Digital news. ArcticStartup has a partnership with the site and does content exchange and collaboration to bring you more coverage to and from Russia.

    About East-West Digital News
    Launched in 2011, East-West Digital News is the first all English-language online resource dedicated to the Russian IT and innovation scene. The site provides news, events, market data, business tools and updates related to Internet, e-commerce, mobile and telecoms, digital TV and satellite systems, software and hardware innovation.