The market in Russia is experiencing strong economic growth, which is why shipping your goods to Russia could be a further reason for profit and business growth. Already three years ago, statistics had predicted an impressive rise of the Russian market as the fifth digital market in the world.

According to ISTAT data, between the quarter November 2020 and January 2021 there was an increase in Italian exports of 2.4% compared to the previous months, when they were slowed down by 9.7% due to Covid.

Being able to develop your business abroad requires a strong ability to identify new commercial outlets. The Russian market has 146 million inhabitants with an exponential number of local businesses. The Russian market offers Italian companies the opportunity to expand abroad, especially for the metalworking and clothing sectors, despite the wide offer already proposed by Russian competitors.

To export to the Russian market, many companies avail themselves of the help of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce, which through the organization of seminars and webinars updates companies on projects and initiatives aimed at international trade on Russian territory. To facilitate procedures, the interactive Business Navigator platform was created, with which Italian companies can search for local representatives and partners, support and customers. Since 2019, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has offered economic support to Italian SMEs intending to develop in the Russian market.

The commercial strategy for the export of products from Italy to Russia mainly involves the stipulation of purchase and sale contracts, commercial distribution, licensing or even the establishment of companies and/or joint venture corporations directly on Russian territory. This is in the name of the elusive concept of “Made with Italy”, with which Italian companies are encouraged to produce directly in Russia and with which the Russian Federation can increase internal production.

The “Made with Italy” phenomenon

It is interesting to note that the sale of foreign imported products has undergone a significant increase of 37%. Although more than half of the consumer goods purchased in Russia come from the Chinese giant, a significant share of the market is covered by products Made in Europe. If Chinese products are successful due to their competitive prices, European ones are preferably purchased for their high quality.

The phenomenon of “Made in Italy” in the Russian market became more accentuated after the global crisis of 2008-2009, when bilateral cooperation between Italy and Russia was strengthened. To date, many Italian companies produce on site, rather than importing finished products ready for sale, thus giving rise to “Made with Italy“.

The professional quality and technical skills of Italian companies would have the opportunity in Russia to exploit their capabilities in processing raw materials directly recovered on site.

Entering the market in Russia with e-commerce

The e-commerce sector, although relatively still in its infancy, is growing rapidly: 70% of Russian consumers use the Internet to make purchases of first and second necessities, including clothing and cosmetics. The target examined is half represented by young people between the ages of 25 and 34, residing in the main Russian cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Digitalization has involved businesses at an international level. The main objective is to guarantee a good user experience through navigation on e-commerce sites or apps. At the moment the estimated annual growth in Russian e-commerce is 21%.

Investing resources and time to design a site with a responsive and innovative design may work in European countries, but for Russia the situation could change. Often sites that are too “heavy” could have loading problems, and therefore lose share and interest for the Russian user. It would therefore be advisable to rely on competent professional figures of the Russian market, who have a clear and concise market analysis regarding the search methods and habits of the Russian public. In this regard, experts identify Index as the most frequently used search engine before Google. It is therefore necessary to synchronize marketing activities on the main Russian digital channels, in order to achieve good performance, conversion and retention.

Although the Englishization of users who browse the Internet is becoming increasingly popular also for the Russian market, what is recommended is to communicate web and e-commerce content in the native language of the target customers. Localization from language to language must be carried out with criteria and professionalism. Every nuance, every way of saying, every tone must be well balanced together with the graphic and visual adaptation on the web pages of the official Russian website, through desktop publishing (DTP) activities.

Another factor to keep under control concerns the payment methods on the e-commerce site. In fact, the average Russian user prefers to pay directly on delivery with a debit card: this method should therefore still be considered as a payment option.

Sending goods to Russia: customs documentation

An aspect to be managed with particular attention is the presentation of the documents required at customs. First of all, it is necessary to ensure that there are no particular restrictions for Italian goods that you intend to ship to Russia or distribute on the Russian market (online information in the Sanctions/Embargoes section at the Secretariat of State for the Economy – SECO).

To enter the Russian market, the documents required are the contract, stipulated according to Incoterms 2010, which defines the delivery methods and times of the goods. The invoice and packing list, documents with detailed technical descriptions of the goods, EAC conformity certificates, international bills of lading. Often for documents of this kind, a sworn translation of the original is required. In order for your export activity in the Russian market to be successful, the translation must not only be fair and faithful to the original in a linguistic sense, but the translated document must obtain a certificate of legal conformity. LingoYou, active in the sector for years now, has a team specialized in sworn and legalized translations who can follow the entire bureaucratic process on your behalf.

If the documents are not drawn up and presented as required, the customs clearance procedures for the goods could take longer than necessary or be interrupted permanently. Generally, Italian exporters receive professional and assisted consultancy from logistics and translation companies.

Entering foreign markets is not easy, having to take numerous aspects into consideration, from legal to fiscal ones.

NB: Service information – the 15th edition of the Saint Peterburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF’21), also known as “Russian Davos”, will be held between 2 and 5 June. The exchange platform for representatives of business circles provides space for discussions on the latest trending economic issues in Russia. On this occasion, the scheduled event “Possibilities for the development of Italian-Russian economic and financial collaboration after the pandemic” will deal more concisely with the collaboration between Italy and Russia.

LingoYou Press Office

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