Cosmetics and Perfumes


share of counterfeits and consumer behavior

Cosmetics and Perfumes
share of counterfeits and consumer behavior
This survey provides an overview of the counterfeit cosmetics and perfumes market in Russia and an estimate of its current value and describes its distribution channels and relevant models of consumer behavior.
RUB 10,9 billion
annual sales of counterfeit cosmetics
and perfumes
Over a 1/3
of total sales in fake cosmetics and perfumes are generated by online channels
4 times
this is how much the difference between the price of the fake product and the authentic one can be

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The data was collected during an online survey of 1,000 Russian citizens aged 18 to 55 and residing in cities with a population of 100,000 people or more. The data was collected in March 2020.
Market characteristics
The market size of authentic cosmetics and perfumes in Russia is disproportionately bigger than that of counterfeits.

The selling of counterfeits, both in cosmetics and perfumes, takes place predominantly in brick-and-mortar stores, with cosmetics showing a noticeably higher share of such sales. This may be caused by the fact that consumers are more likely to want to try out a fragrance than a cosmetic product before buying.

Annual sales of counterfeit cosmetics through brick-and-mortar shops amount to RUB 3.7 billion, whereas online channels annually generate RUB 1.6 billion worth of sales.
Distribution of counterfeit products by sales channels
% of total sales
brick-and-mortar stores
brick-and-mortar stores
online stores
online stores
A similar situation is observed in the market of counterfeit perfumes. Brick-and-mortar shops sell around RUB 2.9 billion worth of goods. Online sales total RUB 2.7 billion a year.

In terms of specific online channels involved in the selling of fake cosmetics and perfumes, it is interesting to note that the latter are more often sold on social networks and online bulletin boards at 15% versus 5%, respectively.

While the price of genuine cosmetic products is normally twice that of counterfeit goods, a fake perfume can be 4.3 times cheaper than an original item.
Consumer behavior
More than 54 percent of urban residents in Russia have bought makeup. Unsurprisingly, the share of women among consumers of cosmetic products (86 percent) is higher than that of men (18 percent).

On average, respondents purchased about 7 different cosmetic products a year. The most popular beauty products included mascara (75 percent), lipstick (58 percent), and foundation (50%).

Of all respondents, 71 percent purchased perfume and eau de toilette. Again, women made up a bigger share of those consumers than men, at 78 percent compared to 63 percent.

Purchases of perfume are normally infrequent, and rarely involve more than two items per transaction. At the same time, when buying cosmetics, a little over a third of consumers can afford more than ten items at once.
The survey shows that consumers of counterfeit products often realize they are purchasing fakes. For example, 76 percent of consumers who have bought fake cosmetics admitted they were aware the goods were not genuine; the same was true for 77 percent of buyers of fake perfumes.
Anna Ilyina
Ilya Kutovoy