KnowRussia

Reaching and engaging your consumers

CONSUMER PROFILE

  • Well-educated and technologically savvy, but spend comparatively little browsing time actually making online purchases.
  • Avid social media users.
  • Diverse range of shopping behaviours across different regions, age groups and genders: Russian men tend to spend more online than women, but women spend more time actually shopping.
  • Younger age groups place more trust in e-commerce, make more purchases and are more likely to use online payment mechanisms.
  • Very sensitive to the price of goods, and make active price comparisons.
  • Brand conscious, especially when a brand is luxury, reputable and international. Willing to pay premium prices for quality brands/goods.
  • Spend large proportions of disposal income on consumer goods due to a hesitancy to invest and save.
  • Wary and vigilant consumers; be upfront about privacy and security policies and make information related to delivery and payments transparent.

FAMILIARISING YOURSELF WITH THE LOCAL MARKET

  • With 88% of the population only speaking Russian and a consumer desire to chat before making an online purchase, localising your website is key. At a minimum, shipping, pricing and product descriptions should be translated into Russian.
  • You can ensure confidence by displaying contact numbers on your homepage. Calls should be free of charge, and an online support service is recommended. Russians display a preference for direct communication in Russian with a seller both before and after purchase.
  • Best practice recommends the confirmation of orders, product availability, payment and delivery details via a telephone call to the consumer. Mechanisms should also be put in place for customer complaints and feedback.
  • A retailer should display all relevant pricing in Rubles.
  • It is vital that operational infrastructure is adapted for the Russian market; Russian consumers expect to see familiar payment, delivery and returns options. Please see payments and logistics pages for more information.
  • The main factor motivating Russian consumers to make purchases from foreign online shops are cheaper prices when compared with Russian counterparts. Shopping for goods not available in Russia is also reported to be a key driving factor.

PEAK ONLINE SHOPPING

Online Shopping Statistics

Peak online shopping days in Russia include the New Year on December 31st, the days leading up to Christmas on January the 7th and International Women’s Day on March 8th. Peak online shopping hours fall between 9pm and 11pm in Russia.

MARKETING TOOLS

Russian domain names are favoured by Russian search engines; e-retailers should consider setting up their websites with a .ru domain, as this will help increase visibility. The three most effective forms of digital marketing in Russia are search engine optimisation (SEO), media advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC).

Marketing Option Advantages Disadvantages
SEO Cheap and targeted >Slower and less effective than alternatives
>Risk of changing search engine algorithms
>Website should be translated into Russian
Media advertising Targeted advertising and reasonable
conversation rates
Losing foothold in Russia to make way for alternative methods.
PPC > Tools such as Google Adwords and Yandex Direct
are quick and effective at generating traffic
> There are solutions on the market which allow for
automatic management of a PPC campaign
Price and competition amongst selected keywords

Pay-per-action, retargeting and contextual advertising are also important marketing tools to consider, and the growth in smartphone and tablet penetration means that it has become increasingly vital for e-retailers to optimise their webpages for multiple channels.

SEARCH ENGINES

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social medial platforms should not be ignored; these platforms have a variety of communities and groups where consumers can follow, review and support products and brands, though direct revenues derived from these channels can be limited.

Other areas of interest

Meeting your regulatory responsibilities

Value Added Tax for goods sold into Russia can range from 10-18%; understanding the correct rate to charge is a minefield.

Receiving payment from your customers

Over 90% of consumers pay cash on delivery, but other electronic payment methods are rapidly gaining a foothold.

Getting The Goods To Your Customers

With a total surface area of over 17,075,000 km2 spanning 11 time zones and two continents, Russia is a force to be reckoned with.

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