Understanding Russian Consumers

Russia is the largest market in Europe, with a population of more than 140 million people. Russia has a highly urbanized population, it has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, and its GDP per capita is higher than in any other BRIC market— all of which are important assets for long-term growth. Today, we publish our first report on this market — “An Introduction To The Russian Consumer” — using Forrester’s Russian Consumer Technographics® data to explore some key trends in technology adoption, including the following:

  • Internet and PC adoption in urban Russia is making a promising start. Internet usage in Russia has seen rapid growth over the past few years. Today, almost 60 million Russians are online, making it the second-largest Internet market in Europe after Germany. As fewer than half of Russians are online, it has huge potential for growth. Internet adoption is highest among younger Russians, but there is a very sharp decline for older generations. Social networking is one of the top online activities in Russia.
  • The mobile Internet is a popular way to get online in urban Russia. Nearly every urban Russian owns a mobile phone. The speed with which Russian consumers are adopting mobile technologies and advanced mobile activities is starting to change the way that businesses communicate with consumers. Mobile Internet penetration in urban Russia is already in line with the European average, with one in five urban Russians regularly accessing the Internet on their phones.

These are only two of many interesting insights from this country. Russian history has a huge impact on consumer behavior today. Russians were only introduced to the free economy, choice, and consumer-driven demand 20 years ago. The “shock therapy” that brought a free market economy to Russia has created a huge gap in terms of wealth within its population. The market is still developing, and consumer trends and behaviors are constantly changing.

Russian Consumer Technographics allows us to follow and analyze this exciting, growing, and developing market. Twice a year, we collect consumer data covering urban areas. Our offline face-to-face survey covers topics such as media consumption, shopping behavior, adoption of various technologies, financial services, mobile, travel, and attitudes toward advertising, among other subjects. In the online survey, we explore the digital and online behavior of Russian consumers while drawing parallels with the rest of the world. Please contact me if you'd like more information.