Why Ozon.ru loses business

Yesterday I decided to purchase some audio books in Russian language. Buying paper books is a nuicance, and what can be easier that downloading an mp3 file right after you pay for it?

Ozon.ru is the #1 Russian e-Commerce  portal (they call themselves “Online Megamarket #1”). It’s almost like amazon.com here in the US. Kinda. So I found the audio I wanted, added it to the shopping cart and was ready to pull out my wallet, but got this message:

In English it means the following:
“Yakov, You’re planning to order a shipment of an item, which is not a printed book. Unfortunately, it’s not possible. To continue, please remove the items, which are not books. Currently we’re working on increasing our inventory avalable for the international shipments. We hope to offer you better inventory and service in the future.”

I was surprised to say the least. International delivery of the audio files shouldn’t be overly complicated for the #1 online store in Russia.

The story was not over. Next morning I got the following email from ozon.ru:

It reads, “Hello Yakov, Sometime ago you’ve added goods to your shopping cart, but didn’t complete the order. You can return to these goods at any moment, but remember that our stock is limited, and you can reserve these goods only after the order is complete.

I’m a subscriber of Amazon’s service Audible.com and buy audio books from them all the time – it’s great and easy to use service. I guess, Audible spoiled me.

My first thought was that ozon.ru has only a CD version of this mp3 file. But if this is the case, they simply loose business by not offering direct downloads. Does it mean that they don’t know how to run business?

Then I applied Sherlock Holmes’ science of deduction and figured out that most likely ozon.ru decided to sell only a CD version of the the mp3 just to have a tangible item to ship. Otherwise they’d need to create an infrustructure for the digital right management, which is mission impossible in Russia.

No hard feelings, ozon.ru. I know, you have to operate in a tough environment. Let’s wait for the better times.

Update. After I published this blog one of my readers suggested to try this service: http://www.imobilco.ru/music/audiobooks. I tried. Very little variety, but when I found the audio book I wanted to buy it displayed me a message “Currently not in stock”. The mp3 file is not in stock? God bless America! Happy Thanksgiving!


9 thoughts on “Why Ozon.ru loses business

  1. I think that the real problem is that Ozon has no rights to sell it’s audiobooks to customers who are not the residents of Russian Federation. And somehow they figured out that you’re trying to by being in US and denied your purchase. I live in Russia and can’t buy music in the US section of iTunes and can’t listen to Pandora for the same reasons.
    From the other point of view, Ozon definitely has to provide a better explanation of the reasons why they deny purchases.

        1. Maybe you’re right and ozon.ru can’t allow downloading mp3 to the foreign contries. This is fine, but they should display appropriate message. Besides, they should stop spamming me with the same message that I have items in my shopping cart (Got another email this morning).

  2. quite an ignorant post . When company has Digital Rights to sell they can only sell them in a specific geographical area and Ozon only has rights for Russia. Try to watch movie on Netflix from Russia or use your audibles account from Russia.

    1. Quite an ignorant way to communicate the message if this is the case. When you try watching Nextflix from a restricted region Netflix clearly explain this.

  3. Russians hardly believe that somebody lives outside russian borders. When I was to register .ru domain, it proposed 20(!) different payment options and guess what?? none of them worked from Canada. Even VISA payment was restricted to cards issued in CIS countries! hell.. its VISA – its International!

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