Ramadan an opportunity for retailers online, research reveals

Online sales in Malaysia and Indonesia are set to boom in the lead up to – and during – Ramadan, according to an analysis by advertising platform Criteo.

Based on data from last year’s festival – which ran from May 15 to June 14, consumer activity typically slowed at the start and end of the period.

However, while this could be a result of consumers focusing more on the actual festivities during those times, online retail sales surged 10 days into Ramadan and lasted through the two weeks before Eid al-Fitr on 15 June.

A 57 per cent uplift in online retail sales was observed on June 4, Criteo revealed.

By comparison, shoppers in the Middle East typically shop early into the season and slow down closer to Eid al-Fitr to focus on celebrations. Online retail sales surged early, reaching a 106 per cent uplift on May 26. The shopping behaviour during Ramadan in Turkey mirrored that in Malaysia and Indonesia, with online retail sales reaching a peak at 50 per cent uplift a week before Eid al-Fitr.

“Ramadan represents a notable cultural shift in consumer behaviour, with the Middle East and Southeast Asia being key regions,” said Criteo SEA-Pacific MD said Alban Villani. “Moreover, the global Islamic economy is also growing year-on-year, estimated to reach US$3 trillion by 2023.

“Given the growth potential of the halal industry, retailers should leverage Ramadan to engage Muslim shoppers,” continued Villani. “They should start reaching out to shoppers early with the relevant messaging two weeks earlier, especially when shoppers are thinking of buying gifts for family and friends. As some shoppers might purchase later into the festive season, retailers should continue engaging them with special offers and personalised content throughout Ramadan to optimise their campaign efforts. By doing so, it is easier for retailers to stay top-of-mind when shoppers are ready to buy gifts to share the festive joy.”

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