Ukraine flag Ukraine: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Ukraine

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
The total population of Ukraine is 43.5 million, with a growth rate of -0.5% (2022 est.). There is 0.86 male(s) per female (CIA, 2022). The ethnic groups repartition is the following: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belorussian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (CIA, latest data available).
69.9% of the population lives in urban areas; the rate of urbanisation is -0.27%. (2020-25 est.). The densest settlements are in the eastern (Donbas) and western regions; notable concentrations in and around major urban areas of Kyiv (3 million people), Kharkiv (1.4 million), Odessa (1 million), Dnipropetrovs'k (952,000) and Donetsk (893,000) (CIA, 2022). People aged from 0 to 14 years account for 16% of the population, people aged 15 to 64 years for 67%, and people aged 65 and over represent 17% of the population (World Bank, 2021). The median age is 41.8 years (Data Reportal, 2022). The average household size is 2.58 people, 18.2% of household only count 1 person, 35.4% 2 persons, 26.6% 3 persons, and 19.8% 4 persons or more (Statistics Office, 2021).

Despite the fact that the government spends more than 5% of GDP on education — one of the highest rates of public spending on education in the world — Ukrainian schools often lack adequate facilities, modern equipment or quality textbooks, according to a report from the World Bank. Rural schools may sometimes lack indoor restrooms, to speak nothing of their outdated classrooms.
According to the same report, unofficial payments are common in education. It is not a secret that many schools collect money from parents for classroom remodelling and flowers or gifts for teachers. Some parents also pay bribes to get their children accepted to a school, for better grades, or for mandatory tutoring. These practices adversely affect students’ understanding of fair competition and the need to study. Further, the teaching profession’s low social status and even lower salaries demoralize hard-working men and women. A lack of opportunities for personal and professional growth stifle creativity, dynamism and, ultimately, motivation.
Since 2018, Ukrainian school education has been extended from 11 to 12 years. It now includes four years of elementary education, five years of middle school education, and three years of upper secondary education.

14% of the labour force works in agriculture, 25% works in industry and 61% in services (World Bank, latest data available).
Purchasing Power
The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Ukraine (PPP) stood at USD 14,219.8 in 2021 (World Bank). In January 2022, the average nominal salary in Ukraine amounted to UAH 14,577, which represented 83.5% of the previous month value (Ukraine Statistics Office). In the context of the Covid-19 crisis and the war against Russia, household real income has ended its three-year growth streak. The key underlying reasons are the deceleration in business activity, lower wages, and growth in unemployment. Consumer sentiment deteriorated sharply alongside a decline in incomes (National Bank of Ukraine). At the end of Q4 2021, consumption money expenditure of households stood at UAH 10,124.83 per month on average per household (Ukraine Statistics Office).
The Gini index was at 25.6 in 2020 (World Bank, latest data available), with an ascending trend in recent years. Ukraine ranks 81st out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, which represents a sharp drop compared with previous years. According to the United Nations, despite the existing gender equality and women’s empowerment frameworks, Ukraine still faces challenges affecting the enjoyment of equal opportunities and rights by women in general and those facing compound discrimination in particular. The root causes can be found in patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes, but also in deeply rooted systemic gaps, which have not been addressed. These include weak rule of law, low capacity of the institutional mechanisms for gender equality and lack of political will. Some examples of systemic gender inequality in Ukraine include low level of participation by Ukrainian women in political and civic processes, especially in higher positions, patriarchal culture and deeply entrenched gender stereotypes, widespread gender-based violence, etc.
Consumer Behaviour
Price is the most important factor for Ukrainian consumers. In addition, they are greatly attracted to Western products, which are considered of higher quality than national products and are often difficult to obtain in the hinterland. The quality of after-sales service is a criterion which can set a foreign company apart, given that shops very rarely exchange defective goods. For this reason, consumers have a poor image of this aspect of sales in the country. According to a study published on the Baltic Journal of Economic Study, "highly rational, cautious, and demonstrative behaviours" can be observed in case of high consumer involvement in the buying process. “Rationally confident, comfortable, adaptive behaviour" can be observed in the case of low involvement.

According to Euromonitor International, low consumer confidence is affecting consumer-shopping habits. Ukrainians are generally reluctant to shop for groceries online because of trust issues. Many consumers are afraid that they would get products of lower quality if ordering online. Young consumers are driving substantial growth in internet retailing and young adults in online shopping. Mobile internet retailing showed double-digit growth in recent years, while continuing the long-term trend of shifting to “mobile first” internet use amongst the population. The development of the mobile internet infrastructure in Ukraine, driven by the expansion of 3G/LTE network coverage across the country, was a major influencing factor for the channel.

Locally produced promotional advertising is an effective method to inform Ukrainians about new products. Including the name of a Ukrainian or Russian distributor and local address on original packaging increases consumer confidence. Second-hand shopping is also growing in popularity.

Consumers Associations
Central Union of Consumer Associations of Ukraine , Non-profit organization of Ukraine that serves as a representative and protects interests of consumer associations, societies and their members in respective state and international organizations.
State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumers Protection (SSUFSCP) , State agency
Main Advertising Agencies
Leo Burnett Ukraine
Saatchi & Saatchi Ukraine
Havas Worldwide Ukraine (in Ukrainian)

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Latest Update: September 2022

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