Sources of Russian customers for ecommerce websites
A couple of weeks ago I gave a short speech at the Fast Fashion International Fair about where the fashion industry can find clients in the Eastern internet. I want to share more extensive information on this topic in the following text.
Mentioned tools are suitable for the manufacturers and exporters which have online stores and are looking for sources of traffic and clients from Russia. If you are looking for B2B partners on the Russian market, I suggest you to read my previous article Searching for B2B clients in Russia.
In today’s article I will not focus on Google or Facebook tools. I will describe the local Russian services and platforms, which tend to be more popular in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus than the Western alternatives.
Yandex.Market — one of the biggest marketplaces in Russia
Probably one of the most underestimated Yandex services among people from ecommerce branch that I’ve met. But at the same Yandex.Market is one of the main sources of clients for online stores in Russia. Yandex.Market is 18-20 million users per month, which use it to find, compare and buy products in the appropriate online store.
To connect your online store to Market you need the Russian version of your website and shipping to Russia (at least in one city). To embed your products on Yandex.Market, you will need to create a YML file which contains the list of offered products with description, price, characteristics and other details. Later, you can also use this file for advertising campaigns in Yandex search.
Product placement on Market is free, and you pay for each click a customer makes to to go your website (CPC model). In September 2016 Yandex.Market started providing CPS model (Cost per sale) for the majority of categories. So users no longer have to go to your site, and the purchase will be made directly on the platform. In this case, you pay 2% commission for each order.
Advertising campaign in Yandex.Direct
In Yandex, as well as in Google you can put your ads in the search results. To do this you need to have a website in Russian language as well. Earlier I wrote about how to estimate the demand for your product in Yandex. This method is also suitable for an assessment of your first campaign in Yandex.Direct. For a more detailed budget forecast of the campaign, you should use Budget forecast tool, which will be available after you register in Yandex.Direct (https://direct.yandex.com).
Here is an example of two Yandex.Direct ads in search results:
Yandex has its own affiliate network (similar to Google Display Network), called Yandex Advertising Network, which allows you to put text ads or banners on Russian websites, mobile applications and smart TV. Unfortunately, at the moment Yandex has no instrument to make any forecast in its affiliate network, so you should always assume the budget for a test campaign.
Listed below are some of the tens of thousands of YAN partner websites:
Search engines nowadays are the major source of traffic for the most websites, and online stores are no exception. However, getting “free” organic traffic from search engines is becoming more challenging. Competition is growing, and search engines technology is evolving. It is important to remember that attracting organic traffic from search engines requires a profound development of a website and constantly working on it.
Unlike Google, in Yandex nowadays links have less influence on website rankings. Among the factors that affect the visibility of ecommerce and commercial websites in Yandex it is necessary to mention the commercial and behavioural factors. More information about commercial factors you will find in this article.
VK.com and OK.ru social media platforms
Social network is another channel of customer engagement, which is undervalued by many businesses. In Russia, as in the whole Runet, the top social network is VK (Vkontakte), it is used by the majority of active internet users in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Another popular social platform is OK.ru (Odnoklassniki). Facebook is only in the third place in Russia.
If you’re wondering how to start advertising campaign on Vkontakte, check out my guide.
The difference between social media and traffic sources described above is that a user comes to social media not in order to find a product and to buy it. User comes there to communicate and consume content. In this regard, social media strategy of online store must comply with these requirements. However, using the targeting technology we can easily find our potential customers in social networks without even having a fanpage and creating any content there.
Earlier I’ve described 15 ways to gain more followers of your group or fanpage on VK.com.Have any questions about these platforms? Email me at email@example.com.