WASHINGTON, August 16 (RIA Novosti) – Failure by luxury brands to provide Russian language websites “significantly handicaps” online sales in Russia, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury goods consumer markets, industry news website Luxury Daily reported Friday.
“With 77.5 million Internet users, luxury brands should focus more resources into communicating with Russian consumers,” the report said.
The report cited a market study by L2, a “digital innovation think tank based in New York, showing that only 14% of luxury brands offer Russian language websites in a country where only five percent of the population is proficient in English, the most common interface language.
L2 analyzed the e-commerce of 84 global and local prestige brands in Russia. Over 71 % were rated “feeble” in the resulting The Digital IQ Index: Russia Prestige study, Luxury Daily said.
By comparison, the study concluded that 45% of those luxury brands had websites in English. It also criticized prestige brands in Russia for their absence from Russian social media platforms and inadequate adaptation to local mobile devices and services.
According to Luxury Daily, online purchases of luxury goods totaled $8.6 billion in Russia last year, accounting for the lion’s share of overall e-commerce in Russia which totaled $12 billion that year.
Not every firm got failing marks. Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder, along with fashion juggernauts Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani, scored highly in the study for their efforts at reaching Russian online consumers.