How can a pharmaceutical manufacturer open an online store in Russia

How can a pharmaceutical manufacturer open an online store in Russia

6 steps to set up an Ecom project in the pharmaceutical industry

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Orion is one of the leaders in the European pharmaceutical industry.

For more than 65 years, Orion has been working closely with Russia in the field of pharmaceuticals.

The Russian branch of Orion Pharma is one of the fastest growing divisions of the Finnish company.


At the end of 2020, the RMAA marketing agency won a tender for the development and implementation of a strategy for finalizing, starting and promoting, the official online store of Orion Pharma.

The startup of its own e-commerce platform is part of the direct-to-consumer strategy of a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Russian market.

The strategy was supposed to solve the following tasks:

  • Business task. To change the position of the brand in the market (long-term task) – to make the brand and trade marks of the manufacturer more recognizable in the Russian market.
  • Communicational task. To increase brand awareness, show its benefits, solicit orders in the online store.
  • Marketing task. To attract new customers and build long-term relationships with your audience.
  • Media task. To provide a flow of users at the stage of starting an online store, to provide conditions for a stable growth in coverage, audience engagement and the volume of visitors to the online store.


During the preparation of the strategy, we analyzed the market and competitors, identified the key segments of the target audience, and came up with the key marketing message of the online store.

Step 1. Competitor analysis

For the analysis, we selected online stores of Finnish goods offering similar products and a large marketplace, since it was its promotion model that the client took as a benchmark.

The analysis of competitors in the Russian market was carried out on key points:

  • USP and business model of the project,
  • Key site indicators (traffic sources, keywords, comparison with competitors),
  • Distribution of the advertising budget to digital channels,
  • Representations in social networks.

Based on the analysis and the insights obtained, we have developed the optimal structure of the online store and identified the key promotion channels.

Step 2. Definition of target audience segments

To identify segments of the target audience of a client's online store, we made top-down approach and created a sales funnel for this online store.

Since the marketing budget was limited, it was important for us to identify the narrowest and at the same time conversion segment of the audience for setting up targeting at the stage of project launch.

Step 3. Marketing positioning development

To create a communication message for the online store, we:

  • outlined the advantages of the online store in comparison with its competitors in the market, which were subsequently also indicated on the main page of the site,
  • conducted a study of messages on social networks and forums and identified the key problems associated with the purchase of Finnish goods in Russia,
  • made a map of emotional needs and revealed that protection is above else for the client's key audience (they want to be sure that the product is really made in Finland and to exclude the possibility of acquiring a fake).

Step 4. Defining the main promotion tools

  • SEO optimization at the stage of creating a website catalog and product cards, working out clusters of key queries and product descriptions. Subsequent check of the site indexing and its optimization.
  • Development, configuration and launch of contextual advertising on search and in Yandex and Google networks.
  • Setting up re-marketing based on Yandex Metrica and Google Analytics events.
  • Setting up targeted ads based on targeted events.

Step 5. Development of email strategy

Since the online store had the opportunity to purchase goods both for registered users and without registration, two chains of trigger mailings were set up for each type of user.

We roughly divided all letters into four types:

  • welcome letter,
  • order status letters,
  • letters to drive additional sales,
  • letters to keep and return clients

Step 6. Documents preparation

Since the online store contains cosmetics and dietary supplements, in accordance with Russian legislation, you must provide the necessary documents to launch an advertisement.

At the same time, depending on the platform, the list of documents may vary:

  • To launch advertising in Yandex, you have to provide a copy of the certificate of state registration of a specific name of dietary supplements.
  • Only dietary supplements registered in accordance with the law are allowed to advertise on Google. Also, advertisements must contain the "Not a cure" disclaimer.
  • In MyTarget you are required to provide a certificate of conformity and a certificate of registration.
  • In addition to product certificates and registration certificates, VKontakte requires a letter of guarantee, which confirms the presence of all the necessary declarations and certificates.


As a result of the implementation of the strategy, the online store was launched in mid-August 2021.

At the same time, an advertising campaign was launched in the networks and on the search engines Yandex and Google, on the MyTarget network, as well as on the social networks VKontakte, Instagram and Facebook.

The first sales were made in September.

As a result, in the first month of the advertising campaign, we tested various segments of the target audience and identified the most conversional ones, as well as outlined the further development stages and areas of the project.

It was decided to conduct an additional business analysis and a technical audit of the site, as a result of which the client was offered a strategy for the further promotion of the project, the most promising channels for the further promotion of the online store were identified and recommendations were given to improve its usability.

The analysis of the online store made it possible to be convinced of its prospects and the management of Orion Pharma made a decision on the further development and financing of the project.

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