Ramadan online shopping trends revealed

Online sales and traffic increase in the lead up to and during Ramadan, but decline during Eid el-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Performance marketing technology company Criteo has released data to help e-commerce businesses make the most of Ramadan online shopping opportunities.

Based on consumers’ online browsing and buying activity, the three weeks leading up to Ramadan, and more specifically, the third week of Ramadan represent the biggest opportunity for retailers to engage consumers when they are actively browsing and purchasing items for upcoming celebrations. During this period, there was an average of 67 per cent uplift in online retail sales and 14 per cent uplift in online travel sales.

Criteo’s data also revealed that Ramadan traditions influence shoppers’ behaviour throughout the day. To engage with shoppers, retailers need to know when they are most active online. During the fasting period in the day, e-commerce transactions were lower at 71 per cent, compared to 76 per cent for the period prior to Ramadan. However, after breaking fast, there is an increase in e-commerce sales to 29 per cent, from 24 per cent pre-Ramadan, representing a timely opportunity for retailers to reach out to shoppers.

Ramadan

Understanding how and what shoppers are buying is also crucial. With 37 per cent of onsite retail conversions happening on the mobile app, retailers need to be investing beyond just a mobile-friendly site to an intuitive app. Fashion-related items are the most popular during this period, followed by home and living products and electronics, toys and games.

“Ramadan is an important festive season in this region,” said Alban Villani, GM, Southeast Asia, with Criteo. “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,” said Villani.

“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,” said Villani.

Criteo analysed more than 8 million online transactions from 143 retailers based in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Website traffic and e-commerce sales increased from three weeks before Ramadan and spiked during weeks three and four, with an increase of 110 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.
  • During the start of Eid el-Fitr, there was a decline of 44 per cent in online sales and 20 per cent in website traffic. However, in the week post-Eid, online sales rebounded, increasing 35 per cent.
  • During weeks three and four of Ramadan, online mass merchants were the biggest growth driver – with an increase of 87 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.
  • The cross-device journey – 46 per cent of shoppers were found to be viewing products across multiple devices, with one in four shoppers switching devices at least three times during their purchasing journey.

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