Online launches of new FMCG products in Russia: a how-to guide

3 online launch strategies for the online FMCG market in Russia, and 2 frequently made promotion mistakes

The online FMCG market in Russia continues to expand. More and more FMCG companies are launching e-commerce stores and introducing their new products online. This summary of a recent Nielsen Russia article (available in Russian here) will help you decide on a launch strategy and avoid making mistakes based on wrong assumptions about how Russian buyers behave online.


New FMCG products on the Russian market: 3 online launch strategies

According to Nielsen Russia data, half of new products fail soon after launch, and 80% of new products fail to meet their financial objectives (read more about the three steps Nielsen Russia suggests for launching a successful new product in this summary).

Assuming you’ve done your homework, how do you translate that into successfully promoting a new FMCG product?

Here are the three strategies Nielsen Russia experts suggest employing in this market segment:

  1. “Explode” on the market: online and offline
  2. Focus on a specific business objective and specific channels
  3. Target a specific niche audience

Here’s how to implement these strategies.


“Explode” on the market: online and offline

If your goal for a new product is to break through the noise, an online launch is not going to give you the results you need.

Instead, use an omnichannel approach to achieve this ambitious goal. Make sure that your new FMCG product is also visible offline with prominent in-store shelf placement and memorable POS materials.


Focus on a specific business objective and specific channels

If you are launching a new product with a specific business objective in mind, such as rapidly boosting your sales, prioritize the distribution channels that can support additional sales – that is to say, make sure that the new product sales are not going to affect sales of your primary product categories.

Two ways you can make sure that your new product is noticed: make it available in traditional stores, or make the new offering as noticeable in your e-commerce store as possible.


Targeting a specific niche audience

For a new product with a specific, niche audience, an online launch has the highest potential for success. It is much easier to find appropriate distribution channels and interested groups of consumers online, not to mention bloggers and influencers for this particular niche.


2 frequently made mistakes that can affect your online presence and the launch of new FMCG products in Russia

While online promotions and e-commerce stores offer many opportunities to engage customers and get more sales, these opportunities do have a flip side.

Make sure that you consider these 2 frequently made online promotion mistakes when you choose your promotional strategy.


Mistake 1: assuming there’s no difference in online and offline consumer behavior

While the number of products available online can be infinite, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically expose more website visitors to your new offer.

While offline shoppers can unexpectedly stumble on a new product – or view FMCG products in several different categories by virtue of being physically in a grocery store – this is often not the case online.

Most website e-commerce buyers have a specific goal in mind. One third of online buyers are searching for a specific brand or for a specific product name, instead of a generic product category.

Even when online buyers are conducting a non-branded search, you need to captivate their attention from the get-go. Being on the first page of SERP is key: being on the second page means that only 30% of buyers are going to see your product in their search results. In the same vein, sales of products on the second page of search results are 50% lower than sales of products on the first page.


Mistake 2: overlooking the importance of customer reviews

When making purchases online, people are much more likely to pay attention to the opinions of complete strangers, which they would not do while shopping in a grocery store. In a Nielsen Russia study, 44% of respondents took product reviews into account when making decisions about buying FMCG products online.

Given that reviews are hardly ever removed, launching a new product can affect your digital presence, not to mention your sales.


Ready to launch your new FMCG products in Russia?

The FMCG e-commerce market in Russia continues its explosive growth. This is why it’s important to evaluate your online sales strategy in advance. In this article you can read more about the online purchasing behavior of Russian consumers.

If you’re interested in FMCG online trends in Russia in 2020, this post summarizes the predictions and trends Nielsen Russia experts discussed in one of their podcast episodes.

Finally, here you can learn how Yandex can help you enter the Russian market and get your new product in front of Russian customers.

Ready to enter the Russian market? Contact our team here.