Perfume, gadgets, clothes and footwear: top holiday gift categories among Russian shoppers

November and December are peak months for Russian businesses. Russian shoppers start to think about what to buy their family and friends for New Year’s (the main winter holiday in Russia) and companies figure out how to meet the increased demand. If you’re launching New Year’s campaigns, you’ll want to take note of the shopping behavior and top gift categories that our recent consumer survey highlighted.

We analyzed the types of gifts Russians buy leading up to New Year’s Day. Approximately 1,000 residents between the ages of 18-55 from various Russian cities participated in the survey.

Most Russian shoppers hold off on doing their New Year’s shopping until December, but people start planning their budget towards the end of October.

Both men and women spend an average of 5-10 thousand rubles on gifts. However, a full quarter of the men we surveyed planned on increasing their budget to 30 thousand rubles this year.

We found that men buy more expensive gifts than women do, but the total number of people that they give gifts to is smaller. On average, men buy 2-5 New Year’s presents; whereas women buy up to 10.

Men and women buy most of their presents for their children or other close relatives. Men tend to gift their romantic partners more frequently than women do, and women buy more presents for their friends than men do.

The most popular category of New Year’s presents among Russian shoppers is cosmetics and perfume. Respondents said that they frequently buy new perfumes/colognes for their romantic partners and beauty products for their friends and colleagues.

Clothes and shoes also make it into the Top 3 categories. Spouses and partners are especially likely to buy clothes or shoes as gifts for each other. Additionally, respondents stated that they buy new clothes and shoes for themselves leading up to the holidays.

Housewares are popular gifts for relatives, friends, and colleagues. And, of course, the most popular gifts for children are toys. Of those surveyed, 56% buy toys and 22% said that they buy electronics for children.

In addition to cosmetics, housewares, food, and spirits, people frequently buy gift certificates, clothing, shoes, and printed media like books for their friends.

We also asked respondents to list the top few places they go to purchase their holiday gifts.

More than 80% said that they visit shopping centers, with 56% also ordering from online stores and 23% visiting small brick-and-mortar shops.

We also asked respondents what devices they used to make online purchases over the past three months. Here’s the breakdown: 77% used a desktop or laptop, 60% — smartphones, and 17% — tablets.  (Respondents were told to select all applicable answers).

To get the most ROI out of your ad campaigns this season, we have a few pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t forget about smartphone users. Use ad formats for both desktop and mobile. You are leaving conversions on the table if you ignore your mobile audience! If you don’t have a mobile version of your site, we recommend using Yandex.Direct Turbo pages. You can create these quickly and for free using the Turbo Page Builder. They will speed up your page-loading time and reduce your bounce rate when the internet is slow.
  2. Bring in new customers. The New Year’s frenzy is a great opportunity to find new customers. Create a similar users segment based on one of your own Yandex.Audience segments or reach out to people who live or work near your sales point using location targeting.
  3. Use autotargeting to expand your campaign’s reach. To set up autotargeting, you just need to write your ad texts. The system will index your ads and start displaying them when users enter relevant queries. This means you can buy “long-tail” keywords at affordable prices with minimal effort.
  4. Remind users that you’re there. Among online shoppers, 93% add items to their shopping carts long before they actually purchase them. Retargeting is a versatile tool you can use to bring back users after you’ve made your first online (or even offline) contact with them. Regardless of whether users just viewed your webpages or actually put items in their carts without purchasing them, you can use retargeting to bring them back. There are also other less obvious uses for retargeting. For example, users who already purchased something from you may be interested in other related products. You can also remind users when it’s time to re-order something (like dog food, batteries, etc.). That way, retargeting becomes a way to increase your brand’s credibility and get customers thinking of you as a personal consulting service.
  5. Experiment with ad formats. The formats that deliver people the content they consume has changed a lot in recent times. People spend more and more time viewing videoclips and TV shows online. Businesses of any size can now create ads in video format. You can use a Yandex.Direct template for video ads to get your audience’s attention.
  6. Be prepared to manage the new users that your ads bring in. Make sure your phones and call-centers can handle the increased volume, that you have sufficient inventory, and that your logistics are worked out so that orders get delivered on time.

Good luck with your New Year’s campaigns!