Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® is growing! And we have just filled in a big space in our global map with Russian Technographics. There is probably no need to explain why Russia is an important market. It has a population of 140 million, with almost three-quarters living in urban areas. Russian consumers have the highest disposable income out of all BRIC markets, and cities like Moscow and St Petersburg are full of well-educated, Western-oriented consumers whose income is around three times the national average. Apart from demographics, there are other factors that make Russian consumers appealing, interesting, and unique:

  • Their love for technology. According to Forrester Technographics segmentation, 60% of Russians are technology optimists. To put this in perspective, this is considerably higher than any other European markets we survey. Already, 65% have a home PC, and Internet penetration has reached 56%. Broadband adoption is lagging behind at 37%;these numbers are below the European average. However, where Russians are missing on the PC ownership and Internet connection, they compensate with mobile phones: Almost every urban Russian today owns a mobile phone, and almost one in five use the mobile Internet.
  • Their growing consumerism. Russian consumers tend to be impulsive buyers: Compared with their Western European counterparts, fewer of them say that they shop around before making a final purchase. At the same time, they are more than willing to try new things as long as it’s consistent with their image. And these attitudes are even stronger in the major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg. People who live there assign bigger importance to brands and are more receptive toward advertising, with almost half stating that owning the best brand is important to them and that ads help them to decide what to buy.
  • Their unique history. Russian history has had a huge impact on consumer behavior today. It was only 20 years ago that the Soviet Union fell apart and Russians were introduced to free economy, choice, and consumer-driven demand. The “shock therapy” that brought free market economy to Russia has created a huge wealth gap in its population, and those older than 50 are particularly disadvantaged. The market is still developing, and consumer trends and behaviors are constantly changing.

Our new Russian 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 will cover topics such as media consumption, shopping behavior, adoption of various technologies, financial services, mobile, travel, and attitudes toward advertising, among other subjects. In the following online survey, we will explore digital and online behavior of Russian consumer while drawing parallels with the rest of the world.

We are looking forward to understanding this part of the world a bit better. We’re currently working on the online survey, I’m interested in hearing what you would like to know about Russian consumers.