People are vacationing, spending time at the beach, and enjoying the long awaited warm weather. Our counterparts in Russia are not letting the economic situation really impact their summer fun. According to Yandex research, people are as eager as ever to plan their trips, purchase cute outfits (obviously), and enjoy lots of fun activities at home or at the dacha.
Russians typically split their summers between beach resorts and their dachas, a local summer residence where gardening, games, and enjoying nature are the main activities. Many spend their summer beach vacations in Russia or other popular areas that don’t require a visa to travel including Turkey and Egypt. This blog will give readers a good idea of the summer scene for Russians by first covering Russians’ top searches for summer 2015 and then reviewing the Russian summer eCommerce updates.
Russian Summer Searches
Russians search for three main destinations when planning beach resort trips: Russia, Turkey, and Egypt. These destinations are quite popular because there are convenient and frequent travel options to these destinations. Many Russians plan domestic trips because the option and popularity of train travel makes it even more affordable and easy to bring along the whole family.
Typically Russians select their summer trips about a month in advance and usually book trips that are a bit over a week long. Package deals tend to be more popular due to the ease or organizing everything together. The following covers the top beach resort searches from Yandex users in three major Russian cities, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Ekaterinburg. Generally, residents of these cities all take interest in the same destinations but the popularity varies by area.
When it comes to activities, Russians appreciate the same summer activities that you do. Bicycles dominates the summer searches for Russians as more people aim to spend time outside and get some exercise. Bike sharing programs are gaining traction in major Russian cities but many are looking to bike while on vacation and switch up their mode of transportation to something more warm weather friendly.
Gardening is an especially popular search term during the summer because so many enjoy growing their own produce at their dacha. This is also the time that Russians grow their fruits and veggies to pickle and store them for the fall and winter. Fishing is a very popular activity, especially when catching dinner becomes an option. Russians plan lots of fun BBQ events where they invite friends and family to grill shashlik or various forms of meat (usually on a skewer).
Russian Summer Purchases
Its no surprise that the popular Russian summer searches go hand in hand with the popular summer purchases. Yandex.Market, one of Russia’s top eCommerce aggregators, dedicated a special summer page to the hot items Russians are purchasing for their summer fun! As you can see below, bicycles, yard and gardening gear, fishing rods, and boats are all featured. On the left hand side, Yandex even lists a special section for “dacha” and gardening items, following by a category for “Vacationing in the Wilderness.”
In addition to listings for toys and sporting goods, the page also includes items for automobiles and summer fashion. Naturally, all the items one would expect to be listed are in the summer fashion category – swimwear, dresses, open toed shoes, shorts, sneakers, and summer handbags.
As anywhere, summer seasonality impacts the popularity of fashion choices in Russia. Most purchases are practical for beach trips like sandals, swimsuits, and beach bags. Of course, there is also a variation in the types of dresses women are purchasing among other hot weather items.
May was a huge month for eCommerce in Russia due to Russians prepping for their summer vacations. After booking trips and making plans in May, it proved to be a fruitful month for those who wanted to buy cute outfits in line with summer fashion for their trips and general needs. Using data from Y-Consulting, a Russian Vedomosti article explained that May was the first month this year that showed growth for clothing and shoe sales in Russia. Yandex search volume for online shopping showed a similar pattern of increased interest in online shopping and intent to purchase online starting in May 2015.
Compared to May 2014, sales for fashion and footwear rose by 2.1%. In monetary terms, there was a 13.1% increase to approximately 231 billion rubles or about $4 billion, according to data from Y-Consulting. In addition to this increase, traffic on eCommerce sites increased by 12.3% and conversions were up by 3.2%.
For the most part, Russians are planning their vacations and packing their suitcases similar to the way they do most years. Everyone wants a new bathing suit to wear on their trip to the go-to beach resort. The stabilization of the ruble in April didn’t have a direct impact on April sales but Russians shopped with more confidence in May 2015. Russians are shopping and spending more than the previous year, offering more comfort to retailers and eCommerce players.