Russia flag Russia: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Russia

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Consumer Profile
Russia is experiencing a sharp ageing of its population. The median age has increased from 38 in 2010 to 40.2 in 2022 (Data Reportal) while 18% of the population is under 15 years and 16% is over 65 years of age (World Bank, 2021). The population decreased by -0.22% in 2022 (CIA). Households average 2.6 people, 26% of households are made up of people living alone and 51% are households with two or three members, 20% are composed by four to five members and only 4% are made up of more than six people (UN, latest data available). Regarding the ratio of men to women, women are 53.6% of the total population. 75.2% of the population lives in urban areas (Data Reportal, 2022). The population is highly concentrated in the western part of the country which extends from the Baltic Sea, south of the Caspian Sea, as well as east of the border with Kazakhtan. Elsewhere there are isolated and sparsely populated lands, especially in the south. The main cities are Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk. In Russia, 95% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much higher than the OECD average of 79%. This is truer of women than men, as 94% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 96% of women. Of the active population, 26.3% are skilled professionals, 15.2% work in sales and services, 13.7% are skilled workers, 13.1% craftsmen and builders, 13% operators and machine assemblers, 7.6% have an intermediary occupation, 5.8% are managers, 2.8% are clerks and 2.5% are farmers (ILO, 2020, latest available data).
Purchasing Power
The PPP GDP per capita in Russia is USD 32,803.4 according to the latest World Bank data. In 2021, the average nominal salary was measured at approximately RUB 56,500 per month, marking an increase compared to the previous year (Statista). Inflation has reduced the purchasing power of the Russians. In the Russian Federation, the average household net adjusted disposable income per capita is lower than the OECD average of USD 30,490, and the average is largely driven by the high disposable income of the rich. For several years, Russia has experienced a net decrease in consumption, and the COVID-19 crisis, followed by the war in Ukraine, have exacerbated the trend. Income inequalities are high, the Gini index is 36 but it is decreasing (World Bank). Men in Russia were paid an average salary of 67,100 RUB per month in 2021, nearly 18,500 RUB more than the female wage (Statista). The republics of Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya, Kalmykia and Karachayevo-Cherkesiya are the regions with the lowest wages, while the regions with the highest wages are Yamalo-Nenets, Chukotka, Moscow, Nenets, and Magadan.
Consumer Behaviour
Russia is increasingly becoming a consumer society. The main purchase factors are the brand, quality and the longevity of the product. Russian consumers continue to be price conscious, they are also looking for high quality, new, and healthy products. According to a GfK survey, in 2019, 46% of Russians said they were looking for a way to save money and use special offers for this purpose, 54% of Russians say they are looking for stores with low prices. The Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine accelerated this trend. Promotions usually attract Russian consumers with the majority population visiting several outlets to make the best deals. Traditional stores (brand stores, supermarkets, distributors, direct resellers, etc.) are where the most purchases are made. About half of consumers prefer foreign products over local products, however, goods produced in Russia attract more and more people. Russian consumers are generally loyal to brands. In addition, convenience is becoming one of the key priorities for consumers, which has stimulated the development of e-commerce (delivery services) and negatively affected sales in large-format shopping facilities. In the retail food market, the discounter format is increasing.

The Federation is in constant development with regard to online commerce. With its 129.8 million active users on the Internet (Data Reportal, 2022), it occupies the sixth place among the countries with the highest number of users globally (Statista). E-commerce accounted for just 1.4% of Russia's economy in 2019, according to research firm Data Insight. However, since the pandemic, online grocery shopping has become very popular. In 2021, the sector reached RUB 329 billion in turnover (Statista). E-commerce penetration in Russia has increased from 6% of total retail sales in 2019 to about 9% in 2021 (Intellinews).

The principal emerging trend is the consumption of healthier products. Half of the population is willing to pay more for products that improve their health and quality of life, such as fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, education, medicines or travel. According to Nielsen, more than 84% stated that they recently changed their eating habits, The organic market is also growing. According to GfK research, every fourth Russian is interested in farm products and every fifth – in products marked ‘bio’, ‘eco’ or ‘organic’. In 2020, domestic organic production was valued at EUR 35 million, increasing by nearly nine times since 2012 (Statista). The second-hand market is not as developed as in Europe, and only used by specific segments of the population. Most of the exchanges on collaborative platforms concern goods traded between individuals and car sharing (carpooling). The Covid-19 pandemic has stimulated demand for second-hand shoes and clothes in Russia, as shown by research conducted by Russian consulting agency Fashion Research Group. This segment accounts for 6% of Russian fashion market sales.
Consumers Associations
Rospotrebnadzor , Federal Service for Rights and Consumers
Centrosoyuz , Central Union of Consumer Societies
Potrebiteley , Consumers Union of Russia
Main Advertising Agencies
News Outdoor, a subsidiary of NewsCorp (only available in Russian)
ADV Group

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Latest Update: September 2022

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