Russian Geo-targeting Series Week 1: Moscow

For businesses interested in exploring foreign markets, knowledge on the selected foreign market is crucial in making important decisions like where stores may be most successful or where marketing should be focused.  Unfortunately, most of the best information about foreign markets is produced in the local language.

Russian Search Marketing is here to provide the right information in English to help those interested in doing business in Russia.  Russia is home to 143 million people and boasts the largest Internet audience in all of Europe (87 million users).  Increased use of mobile devices has led to more Russians accessing and utilizing the Internet to solve their everyday needs and make purchases.  More Russians are trusting various online payment options and cross border sales are on the rise.  According to market research firm GFK, about half of web shoppers in Russia made at least one purchase from an online retailer in EU, China or US last year, up from 36% in 2013.

Russian Search Marketing regularly publishes blog posts about major industries in Russia and search marketing news, but this new blog series will delve deeper into Russia’s federal districts to give readers a more localized background.  Each Russian geo-targeting blog will cover important relevant facts about a particular region in addition to a consistent info-graphic that focuses on Internet statistics related to the selected region.

Due to their high populations and Internet use, Moscow and St. Petersburg were excluded from their general regions and each have their own post, but otherwise the blogs will strictly cover the federal districts of Russia.  In terms of digital advertising in Russia, these blogs will further help PPC specialists better understand important information relevant to their geo-targetting in Yandex.Direct.  The first week of our Russian geo-targetting series focuses on a very important city for foreign businesses – Moscow!

Introducing Moscow:

Moscow is the capital and largest city in Russia, located in the European portion of the country. The Moscow region is the undisputed urban hub of modern Russia. The Brookings Institution ranked the Moscow metro area as the 10th largest urban economy in the world in 2014, with the region generating over a quarter of Russia’s entire economic output.

Moscow is the center of politics in Russia and is often associated with traditional Russian culture, being the location of such landmarks as the Moscow Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

  • Population:  12 million people in the city proper; over 7 million more residing in the surrounding oblast
  • Location: North West Russia
  • Time zone: UTC +3
  • Climate: Humid continental climate

Moscow is ideally situated in relation to the rest of Europe, with most EU capitals just a few hours away by air. The city also possesses geographic advantages due to its economic prowess and historical connections, with Moscow being one of the few places in the world you can catch direct flights to all Central Asian capitals. The city also serves as a gateway to the rest of Russia, whether it be via direct flight to Vladivostok and or a high speed train to Saint Petersburg. While the city has something of a reputation for its grueling winters, in reality the climate of Moscow is not particularly far removed from that of Chicago or Boston.

Moscow Cityscape with Kremlin, Kremlin Towers, Red Square, the Moscow Kremlin Senate building, Moscow river, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, Moscow International Business Center, residental districts and many others.

Moscow Cityscape with Kremlin, Kremlin Towers, Red Square, the Moscow Kremlin Senate building, Moscow river, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, Moscow International Business Center, residental districts and many others.

While one can trace Russia’s history as far back as the Middle Ages in Moscow, the city has also modernized at a pace virtually unrivaled by other Russian cities. New infrastructure projects like the Moscow Monorail, expanded metro lines, and the completion of the Third Ring Road have kept pace with a growing population, as has continued investment and modernization of the city’s three international airports. Moscow is also home to one of Russia’s most ambitious post-Soviet construction projects, a complex of residential and office skyscrapers called the Moscow International Business Center, which, since 2012, has been home to Europe’s tallest building. The city’s position as the economic heart of Russia draws in young, bright minds, while the world-class universities in Moscow ensure a steady stream of educated workers.

Moscow and the Internet

As the largest city and economic hub of Russia, it should come as no surprise that Moscow is also the most well connected city in Russia. With Internet penetration approaching 80% in 2014, Muscovites are considerably more active on the Internet when compared to Russia as a whole, with internet penetration on a national level topping 60% in 2014.  Many of the Internet users in Moscow access the web from their mobile phones, with over 70% doing so in 2014. Despite the relatively high penetration in the city, the share of mobile users continues to grow at an impressive rate.

Moscow Internet facts

Internet users in Moscow are a fairly consumerist bunch, with the city having by far the highest proportion of Internet users shopping online in Russia. This is made easier by the fact that Moscow Internet users on average have access to Internet speeds over twice the national average, while also paying less per month.   Internet shopping in Moscow is also simplified by the fact that over 70% of the organizations listed in Yandex Maps have an Internet presence.

Moscow Industry Specific Fun Facts:

The following industry related facts are compiled from market research reports prepared by Yandex analysts.

  • 26% of generic hotel queries are entered in Moscow
  • 20% of hotel queries with clear intention to book online are made in Moscow
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg alone have over 30 million impressions per quarter for the fashion industry
  • Queries for air plane tickets amount to 31% of all travel related queries entered in Moscow

For more specific facts on these industries check out the reports!  Check in next week for the blog on St. Petersburg!