It’s no longer a secret: Ramadan brings a myriad of opportunities for retail and online businesses to seize. Retail and ecommerce sales soar drastically as Muslim customers are drawn to buy more products online and make more travel bookings.
To grow your retail and ecommerce sales, you should first understand some fundamentals. First we want you to understand what Ramadan is and how Muslim customer behavior changes. Then, you will be prepared to tailor your marketing strategy to grow your retail and ecommerce sales.
Understand the Holy Month of Ramadan:
Understanding Ramadan is crucial for advertisers, marketers and business owners. Thus, we offer you a comprehensive yet brief definition to grasp the spirit of it.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a holy month of praying, donating and dawn-to-dusk fasting. Devout Muslims dedicate themselves to religious practices and rituals while discarding worldly pleasures.
What does this mean to you as an advertiser or online business owner? This actually means layers of data and insights.
During the whole month of Ramadan, your customer’s lifestyle is completely altered. People undergo changes in food schedule, sleeping hours, working hours and leisure time.
This includes regions with Muslim majority populations: Southeast Asia, Turkey, the Middle East and the Maghreb United. No need to tell you that some regions with big Muslim migrant numbers are targeted in this month.
However strict the lifestyle Ramadan brings, Muslim customer behavior is drastically different. Muslims tend to indulge in the festivities Ramadan brings to their lives and to invest in the preparation for Eid Al-Fitr, the day where Muslims break the fast.
Understand Customer Behavior during Ramadan:
According to the latest report of Criteo, a marketing technology company, customer behavior changes radically starting from a week before Ramadan until Eid Al-Fitr. To fully understand this drastic change, you should take into consideration the factors that affect your ecommerce sales and marketing campaigns:
Poducts and services with the highest ecommerce sales:
- Consumer Electronics like Smartphones, tablets and other electronic goods.
- Fashion & Accessories like modest clothes, kids clothes
- Food for Takeaway
- Travel (Flights, Hotels, Train)
- Home Goods Health & Beauty Groceries (Packaged and Fresh Food)
- Taxi Service Books
Let’s take some statistics now:
According to the ebook published in 2017 by Hunter, top retail and ecommerce sales are Food & groceries with an increase in sales reaching 71% and Clothes that spiked to 47%.
Travel agencies and online booking sites are the most popular service providers looked for according to Google. In 2018, travel bookings raised steadily from +35% to 51% throughout Ramadan. After Eid al-Fitr, traffic increased drastically on these websites reaching +105% sales growth.
That being said, e-commerce buying patterns vary by business vertical but as long as you’re selling something, you have a big chance to grow your sales.
When we talk about Muslim customers, we are talking about more than 1.8 billion scattered across continents. Putting them all on the same basket seems to be a big mistake committed by marketers and business owners.
As an online store owner or marketer, you need to conduct behavioristic segmentation in order to connect with your customers and prospects.
Generally speaking, customers tend to shop before Suhour that is in the time interval between 12 am and 3 am. Before sunset, customers tend to use their mobile phones to browse the net and make their purchases. This is when you are supposed to witness a growth in your ecommerce sales.
But, Malaysians, for instance, start shopping at 4 am. Make sure you use the right data related to your exact audience.
Preparing your retail store or ecommerce website for Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr hinges on understanding two factors:
1. how your Muslim customers find your online store?
2. how they usually shop for similar items you are offering?
Because of short working hours, the use of mobile spikes significantly during Ramadan. According to Facebook, Muslims tend to spend more time on Facebook and mobile apps than any other month. Conversions grow up to 4.8x on mobile during Ramadan.
Here are some statistics generated in Facebook People Insight report to show you the importance of online presence and market:
To grow your retail and ecommerce during Ramadan, it’s crucial to understand via which channel customers are willing to shop and pay. Going back to our main source Criteo, we noticed that customers in the Middle East especially KSA and UAE use ecommerce website to make their online transaction while usually preferring to opt for cash on delivery option.
Tips on How to Grow your retail and ecommerce sales during Ramadan:
Giving all the factors you should meticulously study and put into consideration. Designfy compiled for you some tips to grow your ecommerce and retail sales during Ramadan.
1. Start Your Preparation Before Ramadan
Embrace yourself for the high traffic load your ecommerce website will be having and make sure to resort to the right ecommerce web maintenance and support service provider. Ensure your users smooth and agile navigation. Audit the quality and performance of your ecommerce platform and make the right decisions before it’s too late.
As for your advertising campaign, tailor it beforehand. Try to make a media teaser campaign to warm up your audience.
2. Optimize Your ecommerce and Online Store for Mobile
All revolves around user experience. People use their smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices more than any time of the year. Thus, you should optimize your online store for mobile. Make sure your ecommerce website or ecommerce app runs with agile performance and loading speed. [Want to enhance your mobile optimization and speed? Check our services at Designfy.]
3. Customize your ecommerce website to Ramadan Themes:
Don’t get distracted by the consumerism Ramadan involves. After all, it is a spiritual month fostering a myriad of cultural values and human emotions. Show your customers how much you appreciate their culture and humanize your brand to match the needs of your customers.
For your ecommerce store campaign use themes like gratitude, charity, love, spirituality and more. Catch the essence of Ramadan to build your community and grow your sales.
4- Create Creative Banners with Appropriate Cultural Symbolization:
Banners have great potential to drive more sales and foster brand awareness. Make sure you create creative banners for your customers who celebrate Ramadan. Deploy appropriate cultural symbolization such as crescent moons, lanterns, Ramadan drummer, The cannon and candles. Stay alert to the use of the Holy Quran in your ecommerce banners. We don’t really recommend using it if it’s not directly related to your products or services.
5. Say YES to Arabic:
Whether you are located in the Middle East or not, keep in mind that a large number of people are ready to buy products from retailers abroad. Make sure you cater to them a multilingual website that supports the Arabic language and the different currencies used at these countries. If your ecommerce website doesn’t support the right payment gateway, make sure to embed effective ones to meet your customer’s needs.
[At Designfy, we offer comprehensive ecommerce and retail solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us]
6. Track your ecommerce Sales:
Tracking your sales means tracking your sales across different devices. Get insight into your customer behavior and how your customers want to make their online orders and transactions. Some customers tend to visit your ecommerce website via their mobile devices while switching to their laptops to finalize the order process. An accurate tracking mechanism will spare you the time and energy of approaching a prospect with a product that he/she has already purchased.
7. Offer Valuable Deals & Exclusives
Ramadan shopping can sometimes be done impulsively. People LOVE exclusive offers or coupons. Promote your deals all over your social media channels. Incentivize prospects to know about your ecommerce business and your products. While tailoring your deals and exclusives, don’t forget to make them valuable and different from what your competitors offer.
As far as coupons are concerned, test your coupon API.
8. Integrate More Payment Methods:
During Ramadan, people in the Middle East prefer paying cash on delivery over online payment. Offer them this option. Don’t forget those who are willing to pay online and offer them multiple payment methods. Integrate options like local credit cards, Paypal and more.
9. Offer Free Shipping:
Customers are always tantalized by free shipping. Many reports on customer behavior prove that customers are more willing to buy a product when shipping is free. Offer free shipping to your customers and enjoy more ROI. Don’t forget to assess the cost-effectiveness of your free shipping.
10. Focus on Peak Shopping Hours:
Like we mentioned before, your customer behavior changes drastically. Keep in mind this change and take advantage of the peak shopping hours to advertise and market your ecommerce website. Focus on the hours before Suhour and before the sunset. Don’t forget that people on weekends are prone to buy more than working days. Help your customers find your products and services and schedule your ecommerce campaigns on the right times.
11. Stay Always Active On All Sorts of Social Networks:
Generally speaking, people spend more time on social networks during Ramadan. Whether on Youtube, Facebook or Instagram, people want to see what they care for. Use effective media formats and targeting strategies to reach people wherever they are. Whatever you are doing or selling, stay true to your brand identity and image. Don’t bombard people with high promises you won’t be keeping. The more you are active, the more your campaign leads to more sales on your ecommerce website during Ramadan.
12. Make Use of Diverse Media Ad Formats:
Diversify your Media Ad Formats while keeping them attuned to customer preferences and your brand identity. Keep in mind that during Ramadan people tend to watch more video whether on youtube or other channels. If you can incorporate a video banner on your ecommerce website, it would inevitably catch prospects and convert them into customers.
13.Use specialized Messaging in your Ads:
When your ads pop up into the user feed, make sure it is personalized. Talk directly to your customer and empathize with them. Consider the different phases of Ramadan and make your messaging personalized according to whether it’s meant to be pre-and-post Iftar, pre-and-post Suhoor ads or pre-and-post Aid Al-Fitr.
14. Prepare Your Ecommerce Strategy for Eid al-Fitr:
Ecommerce sales grow drastically a few days before Eid al-Fitr. People buy gifts for their beloved, clothes to celebrate the festival and more. They tend to prepare for their summer vacation and get the benefit of the discounts and deals ecommerce businesses and retail offer them. Prepare your store for this time of the year.