Month-by-month dynamics of consumer demand in Russia

Based on Yandex.Direct data

Ads placed on Yandex.Direct are seen by practically the entire Russian-language internet (runet), so click numbers are an accurate proxy for measuring demand fluctuations in different categories of consumer goods throughout the year. While some categories will no doubt be familiar to readers from other countries, others relate to aspects of Russian culture that foreign advertisers may not be as aware of. We analyzed Yandex.Direct data over three years and put together a list of the top categories that experience demand spikes for each month. Keep these fluctuations in mind as you plan your future ad campaigns!

January-March

Following the New Year’s holidays, people start clicking on ads for “active vacations” and fitness-related activities. Judging by clicks, people think a lot about skiing, skating, snowboarding and getting elliptical machines. In February, people click on ads for seeds and seedlings to plant at their country houses (dachas). Other popular topics include Valentine’s gifts (cards, pillows, heart-shaped cakes, etc.). As Russians gear up for International Women’s Day on March 8th, demand for flowers (both real and artificial) spikes and people click on ads for wholesale and retail florists.

April-June

In April, ads for summer tires generate a lot of interest as the roads finally clear of snow. Bicycles and roller-skates also get a lot of clicks. May is “dacha month”: a lot of people click on ads for home and garden products. Readers outside of Russia may be surprised to learn that book-binding services do swift business in June as students prepare for their thesis and dissertation defenses. Everyone also wants to cool off around this time as is evident by the prevalence of ads for pools and air-conditioning repairs.

July-September

In July, everyone is planning a vacation and their interests range from portable refrigerators to cruises to yacht rentals. In August, parents buy school uniforms (although interest in wholesale uniforms peaks a whole month earlier). Dacha owners prepare for the rainy fall weather and look for drainage, waterproofing, and siding services. Then the school year starts in September and interest peaks in everything related to school and extracurricular activities like martial arts and dance.

October-December

In October, people switch their car tires over for winter and ads for warm clothes and space heaters take over. A month later, people start buying New Year’s goods in bulk for resale and click on ads for wholesale holiday decorations and Christmas trees. In December, almost all the categories that get the most clicks have to do with holiday goods. Presents for children are a popular category, with users showing the most interest in skates, interactive and electronic toys, sleds, and snow scooters.

If you’re planning an ad campaign for Russia, it’s always a good idea to keep the surface-level cultural differences reflected by search trends in mind. Holidays like International Women’s Day that barely make a splash in the US are taken quite seriously in Russia (think Valentine’s Day times 5). Other phenomena like the prevalence of dachas also have a big effect on consumer demand in Russia (as the sheer number of Russian magazines devoted to home and garden needs attests to). These “top of the iceberg” cultural differences can serve as the first step in understanding how your marketing and advertising may need to be adapted for Russian users.