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From Russia with digital love

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 13 February 2008

“As personal incomes rise in Russia the domestic retail market size follows suit. The market grew 12% year-on-year in 2007 and this is seen as only the start of a rapid growth curve in the region. Consumers remain under-equipped in terms of CE and IT products and opportunities abound for savvy vendors and retailers. Make no mistake, the Russian consumers are participants in the worldwide race to adopt the latest technology solutions and they do not intend to be left behind.

You don’t need to fly to Las Vegas for CES in January to see the latest CE and IT kit. ‘Digital’ is the new buzzword in the Russian retail economy and digital products now account for half of thr turnover of all durable products sold in the market. The image of Russia as a country with an antiquated technological infrastructure must now be relegated to the past.

Demand for LCD displays and notebooks are strong in Russia. For retailers and vendors, the problem lies not in selling these products but making sure there is an adequate supply into the channel to cope with demand. Both of these products have sold similar amounts in terms of unit sales and with 2.5 million customers spending an average of €900 on these products, making sure the supplies are available is critical.

Between the ages of 15 and 64, Russia offers a marker of 48 million men and 52 million women – a massive untapped market. Other products are also selling well with printing products such as multi-function devices and cartridges climbing 50% in 2007 compared to 2006.

Evolving landscape

With the overall market for office and IT products doubling in 2007, the opportunity for various different types of channel partners to take advantage is clear. Every international vendor is anxious to have a strong presence in the Russian market and finding the right partners is critical.

The channel landscape is still evolving and opportunities for cross selling abound. Outside of Moscow, most points of sales for telecom kit are still lacking complementary IT products. The mobile phone market is strong with many consumers now looking to move towards more advanced smart phones.

The Russian market is poised to become a digital giant in the 21st century and everyone needs to stake their claim in this massive market sooner rather than later. Want to see what the Russian market has to offer in terms of business opportunities for your company? Come and discuss the options with retailers and GfK at DCC Russia and CIS.”

GfK is the official research partner for the upcoming DCC Russia and CIS event in Moscow from June 18th-20th 2008. DCC is the ultimate professional networking event for senior executives from the consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region. DCC MEA is a focused event for retail executives based on the successful concept of bringing high-level buyers from emerging markets into productive contact with vendors. www.dcc-cis.com

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