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Ramadan 2023: How businesses can grow their international markets
January 6, 2023
Falling on the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed by 2 billion people around the world and is widely associated with fasting, prayer, and reflection — culminating with the celebratory feast of Eid.
Ramadan has traditionally been a time for connection with family and loved ones, and today observers are using technology more than ever to facilitate this. In a 2022 Meta-commissioned "Ramadan Moment Study" by YouGov, 36% of people surveyed state they spend more time using technology to connect with others during Ramadan or Eid.
While people are connecting with loved ones, they are also connecting with and shopping from businesses that are important to them. And many of these businesses are located abroad. The YouGov study also shows that 44% of people surveyed have made a cross-border purchase during Ramadan and one in three of those people have spent more on products shipped from abroad than in previous years.
Successful businesses are growing internationally by using Meta technologies to build creative that resonates, set up logistics & localization, and help drive online sales. This approach is critical throughout the year, and especially important during key consumer shopping moments like Ramadan. Here’s how your business can do the same.
Building creative that resonates
Because cross-border shoppers have fewer opportunities to physically interact with merchandize, it is important to effectively communicate product details such as quality, materials, and sizing. In another 2022 Meta-commissioned study by YouGov, nearly two-thirds (63%) of cross-border consumers surveyed say they want comprehensive product information (e.g., video demos and detailed photography) when evaluating potential purchases from foreign businesses. Technologies such as augmented reality (AR) that enable people to experience products immersively can be valuable, with nearly two in five cross-border shoppers surveyed saying it is important to virtually try potential purchases.
Marketing to shoppers via a creator helps drive discovery and trust. In fact, more than half (51%) of cross-border shoppers surveyed cite them as a top source of information to discover and evaluate products. In particular, creators local to a market are perceived as credible and trustworthy.
Building relevant creative can help bring your business closer to people. Tools like dynamic language optimization and Advantage+ international catalog ads localize the language, creative and information you use in your ads to make them more relatable to customers.
Setting up logistics and localization
Although consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with buying across borders, there can be blockers that prevent people from completing purchases with foreign businesses. Top among these are concerns over transparent display of all costs (81%), localized pricing and currencies (79%), easy returns and refunds (78%), and delivery tracking (77%).
Removing these points of friction from a shopping journey helps people complete a purchase. Experts from Meta’s Global Expansion Partners network can help create a seamless end-to-end experience by setting up logistics and localizing every touch point from payment, to shipping, and customer support.
Growing online sales
Social media plays a disproportionately important role in discovery, with 58% of cross-border shoppers surveyed saying they found products from foreign businesses this way.
Effective marketers help their products get discovered using machine learning powered advertising which can reach new customers by matching products with people most likely to love them. With Meta tools like worldwide targeting and multi-country lookalikes, businesses can reach the most relevant people regardless of where they are located and what is motivating their purchase.
Businesses around the world are successfully growing across borders on Meta technologies. For example, British accessories company Abbott Lyon wanted to grow its presence in new markets by reaching a larger audience, raising brand awareness and driving online sales. They turned to Multi-country lookalikes, which allowed Meta to create audiences similar to Abbott Lyon’s existing customers, but who lived in the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the rest of Europe.
Running a campaign in multiple countries means that a company needs to communicate in a variety of languages. By using Advantage+ international catalog ads, Abbott Lyon could simply upload its product catalog in multiple languages, and ads were then delivered that showed localized information (currency, stock, imagery) and matched people’s preferred language. The campaign reached 44 new countries and achieved 5X increase in sales (with constant cost per order) compared to the same period the previous year.3
By embracing discovery commerce and Meta's cross-border solutions during Ramadan, companies have a chance to reach new audiences, whether they are around the corner or around the world.
To learn more about how to find growth in international markets during Ramadan, visit the Meta Ramadan Cross-Border Hub.