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Marketing and Branding

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Russia has both a unique language and culture, and these factors are key considerations for any online retailer attempting to break into this digital market.


The key online marketing platforms in Russia differ from the rest of the world, and it is vital to conduct appropriate market research in advance of expanding your international presence; specialist knowledge about Russia-specific platforms is a must.

In terms of visibility to consumers, the three most effective and popular methods of improving an online shop’s digital exposure in the Russian Federation are organic search via SEO, PPC and media advertising.

Search engine optimisation

E-retailers looking to improve their digital visibility in the Russian Federation should make use of Yandex’s ‘Yandex Metrica’ and Google’s ‘Google Analytics’ to evaluate their search engine performance.


Yandex additionally has several unique features for SEO specialists that can prove invaluable when building digital strategies in Russia. For example WORDSTAT - a word selector tool - will not only help e-Retailers find the right keywords for their SEO activities, but will also display the number of search requests for that specific word/phrase by region and time period. Search engine trends in Russia are broadly consistent with global ones. 


Pay per click (PPC)

As with many jurisdictions, within the Russian Federation Google AdWords is a well-known and commonly-used marketing tool. Yandex offers a similar PPC marketing option - Yandex Direct.


There are additional solutions on the market that allow for automatic management of a PPC campaign with several search engines; these can often maximize the benefit of such endeavours, but come at an additional cost. Pay-per-action (PPA), retargeting and other digital tools are also available options.


Distribution of contextual advertising dollars in Russia:

  • Yandex – 70%
  • Google Russia – 28.5%
  • Other – 1.5%

Media advertising

Many forms of digital media advertising are to some extent losing their foothold in the Russian market as increasing numbers of advertisers are shifting their marketing budgets to SEO, PPC and social media marketing campaigns. That being said, an e-Retailer broaching the Russian online market can still achieve reasonable conversion rates by advertising on carefully targeted websites and other digital media.

Social media

Marketing strategists in the region report that a successful marketing strategy within Russia necessities a presence either on Facebook or VK (originally VKontakte) – a site similar in structure to Facebook that hosts a variety of communities and groups, including business and brand pages where consumers can review and show their support for specific products and/or brands. YouTube is also showing dramatic growth in popularity across Russia.

Targeting Russian consumers

Russian consumers are typically regarded as young and impulsive shoppers, who, on the whole, were exposed to international brands fewer than 20 years ago. They are largely very brand-oriented, especially when the brand in question is reputable, luxury and international. Despite this prevailing reputation, however, it is important to note that Russian consumer demographics are changing.


When compared with their European neighbours, Russian consumers of various income brackets are inclined to spend a much larger proportion of their disposable income on high-end clothing, travel, and food. This is partly due to the fact that Russian citizens are typically less willing to invest and save than their European counterparts.


Russian consumers are also, on the whole, very hesitant to provide credit/debit card information and other personal details online for fear of being spammed and defrauded. Trust in the Russian infrastructure is severely lacking, and the Russian legal system is not regarded as robust enough to protect the consumer, through actions are being taken to improve this.

The more indication of security and safety a retailer offers on their website, the more success they are likely to have – reassurance of security can be more important than price.

Further information

If you'd like to see an extended version of this information, please see the 'Marketing and Branding' section of our passport.

Additional areas covered include:

  • Major trends of digital marketing in Russia.

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

Customer Experience

Customer Experience This section offers information and advice on inspiring consumer confidence and promoting customer retention in the Russian Federation.

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