Another year has come and gone, and Ramadan is nearly upon us. The annual period, which is observed by nearly one-quarter of the world, is expected to begin between the 5th and 6th of May this year and continue through to early June. Throughout the month, Muslims shift their focus towards pillars like compassion and social responsibility, and as a result daily habits and consumer patterns change, especially in the world of online shopping and ecommerce.
In fact, the sacred month of Ramadan has been shown to be a time when spending by Muslims increases significantly. A study conducted by The Arabian Marketer showed that retail spending increased by as much as 15% and ecommerce spending grew by 35% during Ramadan in past years.
The statistics align with a study conducted by Google that found almost all shopping categories expected a seasonal surge in spending during Ramadan, with clothing and travel getting the biggest boost.
- Clothing: +30% during Ramadan
- Travel: + 30% during Ramadan
- Smartphone + 17% during Ramadan
- Telecommunications: + 19% during Ramadan
- Consumer electronics: + 24% during Ramadan
This dramatic increase in consumer activity (especially for online businesses) means ecommerce companies have started offering whopping discounts and sweeping promotions on a wide range of products. But in 2019, just offering discounts isn’t enough to attract Ramadan shoppers. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your ecommerce is ready for the sacred month:
1. Make your ecommerce store mobile-friendly
During the month of Ramadan most people prefer to spend time away from their desktops and laptops, but they remain quite active on their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). This change in consumer behavior means a mobile friendly shopping experience is crucial to success and if you can’t provide that experience, shoppers will go somewhere that does.
2. Focus your marketing efforts on the right times
Weekends, early morning hours, shortly before the sunset, and right after the sunset (when the faithful break their fast) are the peak times for shopping during the holy month. To get the most out of your advertising budgets make sure that at least some of your ads are scheduled for these timeframes.
3. Experiment to find out what works best for your business
Not all industries experience the Ramadan in the same way and understanding what areas of your business are most likely to get a boost can help you plan better strategies. As an example, fashion outlets usually benefit the most from the sale of kid’s clothing, so ensuring they have a marketing campaign promoting those products will be far more effective than focusing on adult clothing offers.
4. Make Large Purchases Affordable
During the holy month many consumers are eager to make larger purchases but even still, high-priced items can be daunting. To help alleviate this pain point and ultimately sell more, consider offering your consumers the option to pay for big-ticket items in installments. Offering installments has been shown to reduce shopping cart abandonment, increase conversion rates on expensive items, and help increase average order size. By providing flexible payment options to consumers, you’ll ensure that your giving every shopper the best chance to convert and become a customer.
5. Say yes to Arabic
Ramadan is celebrated around the world but in countries where most of the population speaks Arabic, it will do your business a lot of good to communicate with consumers in their native language. Ensuring that both your website and your Ramadan advertisements support Arabic users is a great way to standout for competitors. Which leads us to our next point…
6. Differentiate yourself from the competition
As the number of consumers in the marketplace increases, so does the competition among organizations to meet that demand. No matter what industry you operate in, look for opportunities to invest in strategies that set your shopping experience apart from competitors. Proposing special offers, creating a more streamline shopping experience, or partnering with other brands to bring extra value to consumers are all great ways to break through the noise and get you product seen.
Ramadan is one of the region’s most important festive seasons and it is rapidly becoming a driving force in the world of ecommerce. With rising disposable incomes, a growing appetite for consumer goods, and an increased demand for halal products and services, retailers who meet these needs are primed for success during Ramadan. But to fully realize that success, they need to enlist smart solutions that engage shoppers and deliver an experience that matches modern consumers expectations.