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Commercial Russian Dates To Remember: Men’s Day (23rd February) And Women’s Day (8th March)

Russian online shopping seasonality

Remember how we’re always explaining that seasonality has a big impact of ecommerce activities?  The next two weeks are classic examples of that in Russia with two days which see significant peaks in Russian online shopping activity, according to leading Russian search engine Yandex.

February 23rd has a chequered history to say the least.  It started out as Red Army Day celebrating the first draft into the revolutionary army, in 1949 became Soviet Army and Navy Day and later in 2002 was renamed by Vladimir Putin to Motherland’s Defender’s Day and made a state holiday.  Whilst it’s generally had the role of supporting members of the military it has rapidly become a de facto “Men’s Day” which in part may be due to its proximity to International Women’s Day.

Yandex provided the data shown in the chart below which gives a clear idea both of some of the typical gifts which may be given to men on Men’s Day, but also illustrates the importance of the date in commercial terms; it’s not far short of Christmas in terms of volume of searches which means it’s a date to make sure your spend is on AND competitive at that time.  Razors and shaving accessories do seem to be rather the gift of choice!

Women are royalty celebrated on March 8th via International Women’s Day which encompasses all women in contrast to Mother’s Days in western nations.  The day is also a holiday and is frequently celebrated in offices on the day before with flowers and gifts from male colleagues – this sometimes extends to office parties.

As the chart supplied by the team at Yandex shows, the most popular gifts for this celebration are clearly flowers (shown on the far right axis of the charts).  Cosmetics, perfumes and jewellery are also popular with underwear for the more closely connected.   Note the closer connection too between underwear and Valentine’s Day, whereas flowers are the clear winner for Women’s Day itself.

What is clear is that if you’re retailing gifts online in Russia, you need to get your skates on to ensure your campaigns are set to perform on these days.

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Andy Atkins-Kruger

CEO at Webcertain
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years of experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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