Online buyers in Russia in 2020: demographics and preferences

Yandex.Vzglyad survey results highlight what online buyers care about in 2020

What do Russian buyers care about when looking for products online? How can you retain them? What are the differences in buyer expectations for different product categories? In this summary of a recent Yandex survey, find out what drives sales of FMCG food products, household cleaning products, pet products, and cosmetics and personal hygiene products in Russia in 2020, as well as information about online buyer demographics in Russia.

In the past, we’ve covered the development of the online FMCG market and shifts in consumer behavior in 2020, as well as predictions of how e-commerce brands can continue growing and expanding in the second half of 2020. Now, in addition to that information, we’re publishing the results of a survey run by Yandex.

In June 2020, Yandex ran a survey on Yandex.Vzglyad. Data collected from 3,014 respondents, along with additional data from GfK, Nielsen, and Tinkoff, shows how often Russians shop online by region, what matters to them when making an online purchase, and how e-commerce stores can attract and retain online buyers.

You can view an article with a quick recap of survey results here (in Russian), or review a PDF slideshow with in-depth data here (also in Russian). For a survey summary in English, read on.

Online buyers’ behavior and shopping frequency: general trends

Frequency of online shopping by region

Three-quarters of respondents shop online at least once a month, and 98% of Yandex survey respondents had ordered products online before.

However, there are some regional differences in shopping frequency:

Frequency of online purchases in Russia

Frequency of online purchases in Russia by region. Source: Yandex.Vzglyad survey

Additionally, the Yandex survey breaks down online shopping penetration by city size to give a more accurate idea of what to expect from online buyers across Russia:

Survey respondent making purchases online, by location and by product category

% of survey respondents making purchases online, by location and by product category. Source: Yandex.Vzglyad survey

Online buyer behavior by product category

Not surprisingly, buyers in different product categories are not converting in the same time frame. The customer journey from a website visit to a purchase takes the longest for beauty products. Pet products, on the other hand, are purchased faster than any other product category, primarily because shoppers already know what they are looking for and are ready to buy:

Online purchasing behavior across product categories

Online purchasing behavior across product categories. Source: Yandex.Vzglyad survey

Primary cart abandonment reasons

Survey respondents also shared the reasons why they were not completing their purchases. The primary reason across different product categories is inconvenient delivery.

Interestingly, the cosmetics and personal hygiene products category is the one with the highest level of “just browsing” visitors. As mentioned in the survey results, browsing beauty products is more of a hobby for some respondents.

Here’s the breakdown of primary reasons why survey respondents don’t complete their online purchases:

Reasons not to buy online, by product category

Reasons not to buy online, by product category. Source: Yandex.Vzglyad survey

Online buyer demographics and behavior in Russia by product category

Online buyer demographics: FMCG food products

In this product category, larger cities have a higher rate of online purchasing activity.

In terms of demographics, here’s the breakdown of participants buying FMCG food online by age category:

  • 47% of participants aged 25–34
  • 45% of participants aged 35 to 44
  • 40% of participants aged 45–55
  • 37% of participants aged 18–24

Breakdown by gender shows that both men and women shop for FMCG food products online: 46% of male respondents and 41% of female respondents indicate that they purchased these products in online stores.

80% enjoyed their online purchasing experience, but 17% of respondents were not ready to rate their experience as anything but “satisfactory.”

In terms of factors that mattered for online buyers, the top 4 factors for survey respondents were:

  • Availability of delivery (59%)
  • Product assortment (58%)
  • Speed of delivery (56%)
  • Customer loyalty program (37%)

However, there are differences across regions: Moscow is the only city where product assortment is more important than delivery – or delivery speed. In Saint Petersburg, on the other hand, availability of delivery is key.

One of the trends mentioned in our previous research summaries was the preference for natural products. This trend is evident in the replies of the Yandex survey respondents as well:

  • 87% of respondents agree with the statement that “When choosing products in an online store, I care about finding products with natural ingredients”

Although this is true across all age categories and for both male and female respondents, women between 35 and 55 years of age are especially interested in buying natural products.

Online buyer demographics: household cleaning products

Demographics of online buyers for this product segment are slightly different.

Here’s the breakdown of participants buying household cleaning products online by age category:

  • 38% of participants aged 25–34
  • 40% of participants aged 35 to 44
  • 33% of participants aged 45–55
  • 27% of participants aged 18–24

Breakdown by gender shows that 40% of female respondents and 32% of male respondents buy cleaning products online.

Most of the respondents enjoyed their online purchasing experience: 85% of respondents evaluated it as “Very good” or “Good,” whereas 12% find it only “satisfactory.”

For online buyers of cleaning products, the following factors matter the most:

  • Product assortment (57%)
  • Availability of delivery (57%)
  • Speed of delivery (50%)
  • Customer loyalty program (37%)

As with food products, residents of Saint Petersburg primarily care about delivery, while residents of small cities and Muscovites are mostly interested in having access to a wider assortment of products.

In another similarity with the food products category, the majority of respondents prefer natural products, and the most eco-conscious group is women between 35 and 44 years of age.

Online buyer demographics: cosmetics and personal hygiene products

Predictably, twice as many women shop for cosmetics and personal hygiene products as men. Just as with the previous product categories, survey respondents between 25 and 34 and 35 and 44 are the most active online buyers: 52% of respondents in both of those age groups reported making online purchases of cosmetics and personal hygiene products.

Most of the buyers were happy with their buying experience – not a single respondent rated it as “Very bad,” and 87% of respondents evaluated it as “Very good” or “Good.”

The top 4 factors driving survey respondents’ purchasing decisions were:

  • Availability of delivery (56%)
  • Product assortment (55%)
  • Speed of delivery (49%)
  • Online store reviews (41%)

Online buyer demographics: pet products

In this case, 33% of respondents between 35 and 44 reported buying pet products online, followed by 30% of respondents between 45 and 55, and 27% of respondents in the 25-34 age group.

40% of respondents shifted to buying all or some of their pet products online.

Just as with all previous categories, most online buyers were happy with their buying experience: 89% of respondents rated it as “Very good” or “Good.”

As with cosmetics, the top 4 factors driving survey respondents’ purchasing decision were:

  • Availability of delivery (56%)
  • Speed of delivery (52%)
  • Product assortment (52%)
  • Online store reviews (33%)

The difference is that online store reviews are less important for pet products, and that speedy delivery is more important than having access to a wider range of pet products.

E-commerce in Russia: trends based on survey responses of Russian online buyers

According to the Yandex survey results, between 56% and 75% of respondents plan to continue buying a particular product category online.

The most commonly mentioned benefits of shopping online are:

  • being able to shop anytime, anywhere
  • delivery
  • convenient price comparison

For online stores and brands entering the Russian e-commerce market, the Yandex survey results highlight the following opportunities:

  • mobile-friendly online stores and tools to drive “anytime, anywhere” sales
  • focus on developing convenient delivery options
  • developing promotional strategies and using retargeting for longer customer journeys, such as in cosmetics
  • customer loyalty programs to drive sales of FMCG food products and household cleaning products
  • demand for natural products in the food and cleaning products categories

E-commerce trends in Russia in 2020: additional resources

Here are some previously published articles about developments on the Russian e-commerce market in 2020:

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