Online sales and traffic increased in the lead up to and during Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, but declined during Eid el-Fitr (Eid), the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, according to a Criteo report.
The report analysed over 8m online transactions from 143 retailers based in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The third week of Ramadan presents the biggest opportunity for retailers to engage consumers who are actively browsing and buying items for the upcoming celebrations. This period saw 67% uplift in online retail sales and 14% uplift in online travel sales, according to Criteo.
Online behaviour was also influenced by Ramadan traditions, claims Criteo, with ecommerce transactions in the day lower at 71% compared to 76% in the period before Ramadan. There was also an increase in ecommerce sales after breaking fast at 29% compared to 26% pre-Ramadan, presenting an opportunity for retailers to reach out to shoppers.
Mobile represents an important factor as well, with 37% of onsite retail conversions happening on the mobile app, retailers need to move beyond a mobile-friendly site to investing into an app, Criteo claimed. Fashion-related items are the most popular during this period, followed by living products and electronics, toys and games.
“Ramadan is an important festive season in this region. 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 Eid, 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.
Other findings include website traffic and ecommerce sales increasing from three weeks before Ramadan, and spiking during week three and four, with increases of 110% and 77% respectively. There was also a decline in online sales and web traffic at the start of Eid by 44% and 20% respectively, with online sales rebounding in the week post-Eid with an increase of 35%.
Week three and four of Ramadan saw online merchants becoming the biggest growth drivers, with an increase of 87% and 52% respectively. Shoppers too undertook the cross-device journey, with 46% viewing products across multiple devices and one in four shoppers switching devices at least 3 times during their purchasing journey.
“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.