Attracting buyers

Belarusian goods known worldwide and in demand, particularly in Russia

By Alexander Benkovsky

Belarusian goods known worldwide and in demand, particularly in Russia

http.pngYandex regularly monitors the most popular Internet searches, helping build a picture of consumer preferences. Every week, Yandex responds to almost half a million such queries: for Internet shops, venues of specialised fairs, and corporate sites of manufacturers. Clothes are the most popular search subject, comprising over a third of all queries by Russians for Belarusian goods: jersey and linen dresses and suits. Clearly, consumers from Moscow want to buy such clothes. Cosmetics form over 10 percent of queries, with goods for repair and footwear just behind. More than a quarter of queries on Belarusian goods are for furniture.

The Deputy Director for marketing at furniture company Involux, Vladislav Smirnov, tells us that Belarusian manufacturers have as much as a 3 percent market share in Russia, which he views as a good figure. He notes, “Last year, Belarusian furniture producers delivered approximately $200m of furniture to Russia with most sales made online. As the annual volume of the Russian furniture market is worth more than $14bn, taking into account the ‘shadow’ sector, we (alongside other manufacturers around the globe) are showing great interest.”

Russia’s economic sanctions against the European Union are yet to affect sales of consumer goods but it’s likely that local buyers will favour ‘non-western’ goods at some point. Russians are known for buying Belarusian foodstuffs, with sausages, tinned stewed meat and beer often ranking among searches. Carpets, bed linen and flax-linen products are ‘the most searched for’ among textiles.

Unfortunately, Russians tend to search for particular Belarus-made goods, such as ‘Belarusian kitchens made from oak’ — rather than a generic ‘furniture’ search. Similarly, searches are for ‘doors from solid wood’ and ‘ceramic tiles for bathrooms’. Yandex notes that, among textiles, bed linen and flax-linen products are popular, while refrigerators, tractors, wood-processing machine tools and motor cultivators are the most popular machinery goods.
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