SberData, Sberbank’s big data analytics and processing lab, has conducted another weekly study on the consumer behavior of Russians between April 27 and May 3, and compared it to the same week in 2019.
Over the last week, ten categories rebounded to start growing, which is an improvement from five categories spotted a week before that. Pets (+2.8%) and Medications and Healthcare Products (+3.5%) also hit the Top 10 by real spending changes y-o-y. Computers and Software also enjoyed higher demand (+3.6% compared to -13.5% a week before that), as well as traditional drivers like Grocery Stores (+ 11.5%), Telecommunications Equipment that soared 16.4%, and Liquor Stores (+19.7%). Books/Music/Photo/Video category showed an increase of 20.5% y-o-y from –18.8% a week earlier. Most likely, people began to buy much more on the Internet, as the week from April 27 to May 3 registered an increase in payments for products online. This is backed by higher demand in the categories Household Appliances and Electronics which added 26.2%; Digital Products (e-books and films, mobile applications and games, etc.), which soared 66.4%; and Department Stores, which jumped 71.2%. The latter category includes many online stores, marketplaces, and e-commerce platforms, which all sell a variety of products. Some categories were sliding in March and April to remain somewhere at the bottom of consumer demand meaning either consumers are completely indifferent to them or could have bought jewelry (–85% year-on-year), clothes, shoes and accessories (–67.2%), health and beauty products (–47%), repair services (–31%), products for hobbies (–21.5%) and even those for construction and repair (–19.4%) at online stores classified as ‘universal’.
The demand was stable and low for the services offered by tour agencies (–91.4%) and hotels (–89.5%). So far, Russians barely spend anything on plane tickets (–85.9%), beauty parlors (–74.5%), cafés or restaurants (–65%).The evolution of spending on local transport proves that very few Russians had used commuter rails to get to their country cottages (–73% last week vs. –76.6% a week before that). They probably used cars, as the decline in Fuel and Auto Services decelerated to –14.4%, up from –27.3% between April 20 and 26.