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Customer Experience

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Introduction

Consumers in Russia don’t form a homogeneous group; Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of land mass and the ninth most populous nation. It spans two continents and, as of 2014, 11 time zones.

 

Catering to Russian consumers and their diverse and rich cultural identity is, then, anything but a simple task, particularly when specific regional differences, urban and rural disparities and various age and gender demographics are taken into consideration.


Local specifics

The Russian online marketplace is characterised by a number of additional peculiarities which necessitate at least a degree of localisation. For instance, Russian buyers have been reported to be more likely than their counterparts in many other jurisdictions to communicate with an online seller in advance of purchase due to a preference for making purchases ‘from human beings’, and appropriate facilities for this should be put in place. Almost all Russian retail websites display their local contact numbers prominently on their homepages, as well as offer toll-free telephone and online chat support.

 

Best practice of course dictates that this should also be provided in the Russian language.

Online sellers will also often telephone an individual buyer after receiving an order with the purpose of confirming order details, product availability and payment and delivery methods. At the very least, an e-Shopper should be able to contact a retailer in the event of a complaint.


Delivery information

It is commonly known that cash on delivery is the most popular payment method in the Russian Federation. This can result in high returns rates, but is a necessary delivery option for any e-Retailer into Russia. Russian consumers consider it important to be offered alternative delivery options: 8 out of 10 consumers surveyed took this into consideration before deciding whether to purchase from a particular e-Shop.

Regarding delivery timeframes, most Russians expect to receive their purchases between 7 and 10 days after the order is placed, though it’s worth noting here that customers in relatively remote locations have lower expectations when it comes to delivery timescales.

Free next-day delivery is a popular and commonly-used option, as is ‘try before you buy’.


Demographic trends

Men on average spend more online than women and tend to purchase different categories of goods, though women spend more time shopping online. Car parts and electronic devices - such as mobile phones and computers – are more frequently purchased by men, whilst women gravitate towards clothing and products for children.

 

Those from younger age groups – particularly when combined with middle-to-high income brackets and the completion of higher education – tend to be well-versed in this comparatively recent technology, and are inclined to place more trust in online commerce and payment mechanisms than their older counterparts. This inevitably leads to higher rates of online spending and consumption.

 

Russians are notoriously very sensitive to the price of goods and on the whole will be active in making price comparisons across multiple online shops. As a result, Russian e-Shoppers are reputed to be quite disloyal. These consumers will also be vigilant in checking product information on a website, as well as pricing and delivery conditions, so being up-front about this information is vital if you want a respectable customer conversion rate. Trust is additionally reported as a key concern.


Social media

Social media engagement rates in this location exceed global averages. This proclivity for social networking should not be ignored by a potential online retailer into Russia as a means of accessing consumers; indeed, in 2013, 51% of Russian internet users followed their favourite brands or retailers on social media.


Further information

If you'd like to see an extended version of this information, please see the 'Customer Experience' section of our Passport.

 

Additional areas covered include:

  • Localisation in Russia
  • What motivates Russian consumers to shop online?
  • Main motivations of Russian consumers shopping abroad
  • The Russian consumer
  • Mobile usage

To access the Full Report, follow this link here to register and download.

Territory Overview

Territory Overview

Territory Overview This section forms a general overview of Russia as a prospective trading location.
eCommerce Environment

eCommerce Environment

eCommerce Environment This section documents statistics about use of online and mobile purchases across different regions of Russia.
Marketing and Branding

Marketing and Branding

Marketing and Branding This section explores the most popular and effective marketing mechanisms in Russia.
Business Environment

Business Environment

Business Environment This section explores the currently turbulent Russian political, social and economic environment.
Finance and Payments

Finance and Payments

Finance and Payments This section looks at the key financial information a prospective e-Merchant should consider before trading in Russia.
Legal

Legal

Legal This section provides a general overview of the legal framework of the Russian Federation.
Corporate Forms

Corporate Forms

Corporate Forms This section explores the main corporate forms that exist within Russia.
Logistics

Logistics

Logistics This section examines key issues that an online seller would face when delivering goods to Russian consumers.

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