When preparing to launch a holiday campaign targeted at Russian customers, keep in mind that some of the Russian holidays differ from those in Europe.
For instance, the main winter holiday is New Year, which is celebrated on December 31st and January 1st and can be compared in popularity with Christmas in Europe. Christmas in Russia takes place on January 7th and is also widely celebrated, but has a strong religious implication. New Year and Christmas public holidays in Russia are consolidated, so Russians enjoy more than a week of rest from work and study. As in most of the European countries, the winter season is the greatest in terms of sales, so make sure to put significant efforts into winter holiday campaigns. According to 2019 Nielsen research, 71% of Russians were going to buy gifts for their significant others for New Year 2020, 68% — for their parents, 52% — for their friends, and 38% of Russians were even going to buy a present for themselves!
Another couple of holidays are specific to Russia and are widely celebrated. The first is on February 23d and is called Defender of the Fatherland Day. Alongside with its original meaning, this holiday is traditionally called Men’s Day: women give small gifts to their husbands, fathers, brothers, male co-workers, no matter if they served in the military or not. A great number of men receive socks and cosmetics as a gift, however recently the situation started to change. Russian marketplace Ozon notes that in 14-19 February 2020 the sales of fitness trackers and sport watches grew by 325% compared with the average level, and the sales of electric toothbrushes grew by 517%!
Women also have their day on March 8th. Officially it’s called International Women’s Day, but in Russia it’s nearly lost its historical meaning, becoming a day simply honoring women and feminine beauty. Men are used to giving presents to women in their lives, so that holiday is associated with high sales. According to Forbes, in Russian marketplace Ozon the average daily sales grew by 60% in the weekend prior to the holiday in 2019. Another Russian marketplace, Wildberries, notes the turnover is 2 times higher than average a couple of days before the 8 March.
As holidays are a great sales trigger for online stores, let’s see how Russian customers behave during the most celebrated holiday in Russia — New Year.
According to Deloitte research, a third of Russian customers prefer to buy New Year gifts in foreign online stores. Brick-and-mortar shops are becoming less and less popular, as customers would like to have an opportunity to compare prices and choose the best one. 74% of Russians believe that online stores offer better prices than offline ones.
85% of Russian customers believe that online shopping for New Year gifts saves time and is more convenient, and 74% find the prices in online stores more appealing, than in offline stores.
The most desired gifts in Russia are the following (excluding cash as a gift): 39% of Russians would like to receive smartphones as a gift, 37% — cosmetics, 33% — laptops, 29% — jewelry and watches.
A little less than a half of New Year’s budget accounts for gifts. Each year Russians are getting closer to European customers' gift budget (roughly a half of the whole holiday budget).
To sum it up, the best advice we can give is to start your holiday promotional activities beforehand — for example, it’s best to start the New Year promo campaign at the end of November. This way the customers will have time to make a decision and buy the gift, and the parcel will arrive right on time for the holiday.
Read the full article in the ShippyPro blog