Mobile has been a hot topic in the Western Internet marketing circles for the last few years, and although it is still in a very immature state, there is a lot of room to play. ComScore reported that in the US 7% of digital traffic comes from mobile devices, and this percentage will only increase.
Mobile Internet in Russia
In Russia the situation is rather different. TNS Gallup Web-Index in their report showed that only 1% of Russian population uses mobile Internet. This is astonishingly low number! According to the same report:
55% of all mobile Internet users in Russia, and 42% in Moscow, surf with old-school feature phones.
Only 3% of Russians (7% of Moscow’s population) use tablets.
25% of mobile Internet users admitted that the only purpose of connecting to the Internet from their phones is reading/ sending emails.
IAB Europe reported that expenditures on online advertizing in Europe in 2010 grew by 15,4% (from 15,3 billion Euro in 2009 to 17,7 billion Euro in 2010). The largest contributors to this grows became developing Eastern and Central European economies. Russia tops the ranking with incredible 37% increase in Internet advertizing spend, followed by Turkey, Romania and Slovenia:
Today forums and other social media were buzzing with the news concerning Russian domains .RU and .РФ (TLD that stands for Russian Federation in Cyrillic letters; later .RF). Apparently, the rule introduced in spring 2010, requiring that every domain registrar / owner must submit a copy of a valid passport to identify himself/ herself.
I find the development of the Internet in Russia very interesting to monitor. The market is huge and continues to grow, however the numbers of Internet users do not grow in the same pace as e-commerce. People surf, people are mobile, but do people buy online?
Recently I heard and read a lot of stats about Russian Internet audience. The most general numbers you can find in this presentation, given by Preston Carey of Yandex at SMX Advanced London, which I attended last week. You can see than Internet penetration in Russia is still only 43%. Hard to imagine, right? But don’t get discouraged yet. 43% of the population is approx. 46 million people, which is double the population of Scandinavia, for example. Continue reading…
Entering a new market, especially an immature one, companies have to think about lots of things. For many corporations markets like Russia or China are difficult to crack. If you ask me why, I say, because they are not localized enough. Why Google failed in Russia? Why eBay failed in Japan? All for the same reason: clueless about markets and their business culture.
Opening an online business in Russia, one has to consider the differences in design and usability, SEO and PPC techniques, linguistics, but even doing all of the above right, the business can fail, because people are simply not able to pay for products and services.
Many payment methods such as PayPal do not even operate in Russia. Moneybookers is available, but not very common.