How to optimize ecommerce and exports in Russia? Adapting to the market where Yandex has surpassed Google as a local search engine and Ozon is the most popular e-commerce service, better then superpowers such as eBay and Amazon. That of Russia and the former Soviet republics is a fast-growing market, but it is characterized by elements linked to the language and the development of a vast area between Europe and Asia that make it a unique case in the world.
Russia is a gold mine for the European countries hit by the economic crisis. According to a recent research by Morgan Stanley agency, the ecommerce in Russia will have an annual growth of 35% per year which will reach a sales volume of 36 billion dollars (in Italy is 14 billion dollars) and 72 billion dollars in 2020.
This is an opportunity not to be missed for the export of the brands linked to the Made in Italy that has always been very popular in Russia. The typical consumer is in fact belonging to the upper-middle class, cosmopolitan, coming from big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg and frequently travels abroad, especially in countries like Italy where it is the pursuit of fashion, design and the “bella vita”.
As mentioned above, to enter a market like Russia, you should know and take advantage of the most used tools. Internet is the most effeective input channel to attack this market, in fact the online population in Russia in the last 10 years has grown from 10% to 50% and there is still ample room for improvement.
How to get more visibility on Internet? Yandex is the search engine on which to focus to be known in Russia where 87% of users use search engines to get information on what products to buy and 81% to compare prices. Among these searches, 56% are performed on Yandex and only 38% on Google. The reason? The Russian search engine has a more advanced technology to decipher the Cyrillic and provides more accurate results in relation to the user’s geolocation, which is important in an area as vast as Russia.
Finally, you should also pay attention to other sales and online communications channels widespread in Russia. 25% of respondents from Morgan Stanley state that Ozon is the preferred service for online purchases compared to 8% of eBay and 2% of Amazon, and 41% of them purchased by Russian ecommerce platform. For the social media marketing, you should instead focus on Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte, both much more popular then Facebook.
As we have seen, Russia is one of the emerging markets, where you should invest to increase sales, especially with regard to the quality of the made in Italy brands. To do it right, you must use local instruments, such as Yandex, Ozon, Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte, adapting the techniques used in Europe to embrace this new rich market.