The Russian cosmetic industry continues to develop as Russians expand their beauty and hygiene interests.  Appearance has always been an important part of Russian culture but overall health and fitness are becoming a bigger part of Russian personal care.  Some of the top trending apps in Russia indicate a greater interest in health and hygiene including fitness apps and an app to help users quit smoking.

Similarly, Russians also purchase health products and cosmetics to improve their overall well being and appearance. According to eMarketer, over 50% of Russian online shoppers had made online purchases for beauty and personal care in 2014.  Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine, processes well over 2 million queries per month for the term cosmetics and 800,000 for the term make-up.  The cosmetics category covers most things related to beauty and health maintenance including make-up, accessories, perfumes, and hair and skin products and electronics.

Beauty and health regimes in Russia pick up during the winter as both men and women visit traditional Russian spas known as banyas (bringing their own products), spas, and fitness clubs.  Both sexes also receive cologne, perfume, and other cosmetic gifts for Men’s Day on February 23rd and Women’s Day on March 8th.  This blog assesses the online Russian cosmetic industry in relation to Russians’ search behavior and top selling products in 2016.

Russian Internet Behavior and Cosmetics

The top search queries on Yandex tell us a bit about the way Russians use the Internet to help with their beauty needs. The majority of beauty related searches come from desktop users while approximately 25% come from mobile devices.  According to Yandex.Worstat, the top regions for cosmetic searches on Yandex are from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, Kamchatka Krai, Magadan District, and Krasnodor Krai.

One of the biggest searches is for websites and “official” websites for cosmetics. In most instances, Russians start their searches for anything with generic searches for websites but specifically indicate the need for an official site where they can are guaranteed to order real products and not knock offs. There are close to a million monthly combined searches for cosmetic websites, online stores, and catalogs for users who want to browse and purchase cosmetics. Russian customers commonly search for reviews as part of their queries for products as well.  In addition to purchases, Russians turn to the internet for beauty inspiration and tutorials.  When it comes to make-up, eye-make up photos are a very common search.  Many women watch videos on Youtube and share information on social media for hair and make-up.

Russian Top  Cosmetic Products and Searches

Yandex.Market, one of Russia’s leading online shopping aggregator, organizes their cosmetics page by category and also by popular products and searches. Some of this week’s popular items include a nail buffer, colorful hair accessories, and shampoo. In addition to the rest of the items marked by Yandex.Market as the mot popular items, all of the products are in the $5 range and are affordable to all shoppers.

Yandex.market Russian cosmetic industry

Yandex.Market also lists the most common searches for the cosmetics category.  Electronics dominate the cosmetics category for Russian online shoppers. Many shoppers are looking for electric dental care tools, shaving devices, and electronics for hair styling.

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The Russian categories covered a total of 30 searches that included the categories above. The Russian version included all the variations users enter for names of various electronics.  While a few top searches included specific brands, the majority of searches were for the products in general.  Oral health has recently become a bigger concern for Russians who are now more committed to their hygiene and purchasing electronic tooth brushes and flossers.

Shoppers on Yandex.Market also purchase skincare, make-up, and hair products for men, women, and children. Various domestic and international brands do well in Russia but the brand leaders vary by category.  Many international cosmetic companies that dominate worldwide also have an important presence in Russia including L’Oreal, Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Mac. More than half of cosmetics and perfumes are imported into Russia.

Overall, affordable cosmetics keep the Russian cosmetic industry keep shoppers coming back for more. Many Russians order products online for do it-yourself pampering like gel nail kits. Russians value their appearance and will continue to seek out products and services online to stay up with the latest beauty trends.