Russian online retailer Ozon on Wednesday said its sales grew 115 percent year-one-year in the first quarter as coronavirus lockdown restrictions boosted e-commerce.

Sales in the first three months of 2020 rose to 31.6 billion rubles ($458 million), said Ozon, adding that it had delivered 13.4 million orders over that period.

"In March, the number of new customers shopping at Ozon doubled from the previous year, and then doubled again in April compared with 2019," the company said in a statement.

Russian authorities introduced lockdown measures in late March, with the stay-at-home orders prompting more people to buy everyday goods online.

Sales in this category, Ozon said, rose 170 percent to 6.1 billion rubles in the first quarter, and the number of orders jumped 200 percent to 5.5 million.

The success of online shopping may well outlast the virus pandemic
The success of online shopping may well outlast the virus pandemic AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

"While many people will be happy to return to offline shopping to the extent possible, millions of Russians have developed a new habit - they enjoy buying different types of products online and doing so more often," Ozon CEO Alexander Shulgin was quoted as saying in the statement.

"Our forecast of more than 100 percent growth this year remains in force."

Moscow on Tuesday lifted its strict lockdown after more than two months of quarantine.

One of Russia's biggest online retailers, Ozon, began as an online bookstore -- much like the global giant Amazon -- and later expanded into other types of merchandise.

Russia is a latecomer to the world of online shopping but e-commerce is experiencing explosive growth in the country despite a stagnant economy weighed down by Western sanctions.

Long distances and low population density make e-commerce an appealing -- and sometimes even the only -- option in Russia.