The holy month of Ramadan is upon us! A month where Muslims all around the world focus on fasting and virtuous living. Ramadan is observed and celebrated across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region along with countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore. And let’s not forget Muslims across Europe and the Americas will be observing the holy month as well. This month is celebrated globally, from the MENA region to the Americas and everything in-between. It is a time of connection to God and spiritual communion but also a time for family, friends, and entertainment. It is a way to slow down for the global Muslim community and to reset their living patterns. With the many changes that have occurred over the past few years with Covid, there are some major changes in the way people live during Ramadan. In this article, we will look at how to continue navigating the changes during the era of Covid and we will give some tips and tricks to help you continue to grow your business, and stay on the cutting edge of your respective market. The official dates for Ramadan 2022 are from Saturday, April 2nd to Monday, May 2nd.
The Digital Takeover
Since the beginning of Covid, we have seen an unbelievable rise in the utilization of e-commerce. Ever since lockdowns and social distancing began there are more and more people shifting to the usage of the digital world almost exclusively. With the recent advances in technology offering everything from virtual changing rooms to try on clothes to VR space organizers for furniture, customers can order almost anything online nowadays. This shift to the Digital sphere is further amplified during Ramadan, a study of 3 major Muslim countries by Parcelmonitor showed an average increase of 37.7% in the number of parcels ordered during Ramadan 2021. Not only that but many other sectors saw a marked increase in purchases during Ramadan, a study done by Google of different sectors found the following statistics:
- Clothing: +30% during Ramadan
- Travel: + 30% during Ramadan
- Smartphone + 17% during Ramadan
- Telecommunications: + 19% during Ramadan
- Consumer electronics: + 24% during Ramadan
Another statistic this study found was the huge increase in online video consumption, especially on mobile phones. The increase spanned a variety of categories, however, food & beverage videos saw one of the largest increases. The theme of food is obviously prevalent in a month of intense fasting and factors greatly into the overall increase of food & beverage consumption and deliveries throughout Ramadan.
Key Lessons from Covid Era Ramadan
Looking back at the last two year’s Ramadan and analyzing the trends that were ongoing during that time give us great insight into what we can expect this year. They also allow us to prepare The first and most obvious takeaway is to focus on creating a very strong digital presence. The importance of this can not be overstated as it is one of the foundations for all companies during Ramadan. Focusing on creating strong and engaging content through a variety of mediums and channels and creating a strong omnichannel presence will be Secondly, another study by Google found a 68% increase in ad content consumption by Saudi Arabians and 61% by Egyptians.
Focusing on creating engaging and entertaining ads and targeting them at the correct audience pays dividends during Ramadan! Using things like dynamic Facebook ads and Geo-Location based targeting can help you really hone in on your customer’s needs and create sky-high levels of engagement and sales. Finally, the consumption of online entertainment increased by roughly 50% in Ramadan of 2020 and has continued to be one of the most important aspects of Ramadan. People spend a lot of time watching and consuming entertainment so providing or curating content on your channels is an excellent opportunity to drive engagement during this season.
What do people buy in Ramadan?
Before you begin looking at what your store can offer to consumers in Ramadan this year, it’s important to know what’s at the top of people’s minds during the season.“Categories with the highest volume of sales since mid-February in [the Middle East and Africa were] personal care, clothing, kitchen and dining, electronics accessories, shoes, communications, audio, jewelry, décor, and clothing accessories,” Criteo data showed.Let’s take a quick glimpse into the main categories of E-commerce purchases made during Ramadan. This is a great way to help you highlight products that are more likely to sell during the holy month and can give you a competitive edge if you create specific promotions such as a cashback campaign (which you can do with Gameball! Click here to try it out 😉)
Here’s a detailed list of the main product purchases during Ramadan.
- Food: Nuts, dates, basic needs, and groceries top the list. Many consumers search for ‘Ramadan recipes’ to make, so food products are at the top of the category.
- Beverages: Fresh juices and teas are especially popular, along with water and carbonated beverages due to the need for hydration during non-fasting hours.
- Clothes: Customers like to shop for oriental abayas, kaftans, and other clothing items that come with Ramadan designs.
- Scarves and head covers: Many Muslim women wear scarves and head covers. Shopping for scarves generally increases in Ramadan.
- Home decoration: Ramadan makes people excited to decorate their homes with accessories that give a sense of festivity. These accessories include: wall decorations, colorful lanterns, table cloths,…among others.
- Arabic calligraphy: Generally speaking, designs with Arabic calligraphy have been gaining traction. But this seems to increase in Ramadan and spans clothes, decorations, trinkets, jewelry, and other items.
- Prayer rugs and mats: These are often bought as gifts during the month.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a huge surge towards the end of Ramadan in clothing purchases because of Eid Al Fitr. This celebration of the completion of Fasting sees a large portion of Muslims buying new clothes for themselves and for family as gifts.
Ramadan, sales, and forecasts
Data by Criteo found that “the best opportunity for connecting with shoppers is before Eid Al-Fitr, during the second half of Ramadan.” The report also showed that sales tend to “plummet” during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.The report also found that “sales at 4am during Ramadan are 17% higher than an average day.” This data was for Ramadan 2020 but it’s fair to note that some Ramadan habits stay the same because Muslims break their fast around the same time. This timing changes from one country to another based on when the sun sets, which means you can expect similar behavior in Ramadan 2022 and the years to come.What’s not surprising was how buying decisions tend to plummet around 6pm as Muslims begin preparing to break their fast.This year marks the second year where the Muslim month of fasting coincides with the coronavirus pandemic, which means we’re likely going to see more online content consumption and online shopping.Data by Think with Google and Criteo indicate that sales tend to increase in the weeks leading up to Ramadan as well as the first two weeks of the holy month.
Prepare your store for Ramadan 2022
Prepping your store for the month of Ramadan is critical to maximize your potential growth during this month. We’ve created a small list of tips and tricks to help you get ready and remember: The first two weeks and the final week of Ramadan are crucial.
1. Personalize the Ramadan experience
It’s likely that not all your products are a good fit for Ramadan. So try to show customers the products that are relevant to them.“Ramadan shoppers are likely to be looking for things that help them observe Ramadan – and those purchases vary by time period. Before Ramadan, we could expect groceries, décor, and home goods especially to rise. Travel planning and gift purchases could happen as the holiday progresses,” notes Criteo.By understanding your customers and their needs, you’ll be able to target the products that they need the most and allow you to personalize their experience. Furthermore, it is a great way to show them that you care about them and improve their loyalty to your brand.
2. Give your website a Ramadan or oriental look
This is optional especially if you serve customers from across the globe. But giving your homepage an oriental Ramadan-ish look can help you not only attract Ramadan shoppers but also help you stand out.
3. Target the right customers
Implementing a strong marketing campaign requires you to really hone in on the customer base that will be shopping heavily during Ramadan. Focusing on utilizing dynamic ad campaigns, dialing in the location-based targeting and continuously adjusting will be critical during this time period. Another thing to note is that “If you’ve run previous Ramadan campaigns, it’s important to reconnect with those shoppers,” explains Criteo.
4. Expand your market
Ramadan is an annual one-month opportunity. That said, many people in many countries around the world observe the holy month.And while the Ramadan rituals are observed by Muslims, many non-Muslims take the opportunity to buy oriental products like home decorations, dishes, beverages, and foods.That’s why investing in a marketing campaign can be very good for your store – if you do it right.Your ads should be personalized and directed to people who are more likely to buy your products during the Ramadan season.
5. Using a loyalty program
Loyalty programs are one of the most powerful tools at attracting and retaining customers and during Ramadan you can use special campaigns to really engage customers and offer personalized experiences in e-commerce stores. If you’re using Gameball’s loyalty programs, you can send customized messages to your customers who are likely to be celebrating Ramadan or notify them of special cashback options on products they are likely to be looking to buy.
Ramadan is a beautiful month full of joy, family and spiritual connection and is often a time for people to get outside of their comfort zone a bit. As a store owner this can be a great time to help you grow your business and connect to new audiences. Every year we see changes occur during this month and Gameball will always be here to help you navigate these changes and unlock your growth!