Ecommerce Guide

The Effect Of Ramadan On Ecommerce Revealed

Ramadan is just round the corner and for those who celebrate this holy time of year it means following a strict fasting schedule that involves no food or drink from sunrise to sunset. It also involves people spending much more quality time with their family as well as often travelling to see relatives.

What this means is that essentially, in countries that have significant Muslim populations life can follow a slightly different rhythm than other parts of the year and this is bound to have an effect on how people shop online.

New revelations have been found thanks to data from a report by Criteo that analysed over 8 million online shopping transactions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore from 143 retailers. According to the research, the third week of Ramadan is the prime opportunity for online retailers to engage with their customers online as this is the period most people actively looking for items for the upcoming celebrations. The third week of Ramadan sees a 67% uplift in online retail sales and 14% in online travel sales.

Speaking about the findings, Alban Villani, general manager, Southeast Asia, Criteo said:

“Ramadan is an important festive season in this region. Rapidly rising disposable incomes, a growing appetite for modest fashion, halal products and services mean that retailers need to enlist smart solutions to engage shoppers across all touchpoints and deliver the most impactful content at every point in the customer journey. As shoppers spend time with their friends and families after sundown and on Eid, they are less likely to browse and shop online. Retailers must pick the right time of the week and time of day to increase their digital marketing efforts, so they can achieve an uptick in online transactions.”

The statistics agree with a study by Google last year that found almost all shopping categories expected a seasonal surge of spending during Ramadan, with clothing and travel being the most popular.

  • Clothing: +30% during Ramadan
  • Travel: + 30% during Ramadan
  • Smartphone + 17% during Ramadan
  • Telecommunications: + 19% during Ramadan
  • Consumer electronics: + 24% during Ramadan

Perhaps most interestingly, one of the biggest revelations that Google found was the dramatic increase in online video consumption during Ramadan, especially on mobile phones.

Talking further about how ecommerce retailers should prepare for the changes in consumer behaviour, Villani highlighted the need to embrace omnichannel marketing.
“In addition, retailers need to embrace omni-channel marketing – as we continue to see the rise of offline-to-online and online-to-offline (O2O) shopping habits. Our data shows that during the period of Ramadan, shoppers are browsing in stores and purchasing online, and vice-versa. However, whichever way you look, mobile will still be the foundational building block and key driver in O2O retail. Half of the retail transactions in Southeast Asia are already taking place on mobile.”

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Scott Bretton

Scott Bretton

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