Online Retailers Are Preparing For Ramadan 2017

Lasting about 30 days, Ramadan is to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed. While there is a period of fasting, prayers and charitable giving, it is also observed as the busiest period for online commerce in the year.

According to Criteo online sales and traffic increased in the lead up to and during Ramadan, but declined during Aidilfitri, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

The data is culled from over 8 million transactions from 143 retail advertisers based in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore across desktop, smartphones and tablets. Mobile sales include sales on mobile websites and apps. The baseline used for pre-Ramadan comparisons period was April 2016.

Cross-device insights were built by analyzing purchases on week 2 of Ramadan and looking back at a 30-day window before purchase.

The peak online business occurred during the third week of Ramadan and represents 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% uplift in online retail sales and 14% uplift in online travel sales.

Credit: Criteo

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

With 37% 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.

Image Credit: 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 Aidilfitri, 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 Alban Villani, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Criteo.

“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.

Source: Enterprise Innovation