E-commerce sales rise 51% in Ramadan – study

Criteo data says internet shopping, travel bookings soared during last year’s Holy Month

Consumer internet activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to rise sharply during Ramadan, newly released data from 2016 suggests.

Technology marketing firm Criteo analysed a million transactions from more than 100 retail and travel advertisers based in the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia across desktop, smartphones and tablets from two weeks before last year’s Ramadan, throughout the holy month.

In findings revealed exclusively to Arabian Business, Criteo claimed that online traffic, including browsing and buying activity,     in 2016 increased in the lead-up to and during Ramadan, but declined slightly during Eid Al-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of the festive season.

Online retail sales increased by 18 percent two weeks before Ramadan and peaked at a 66 percent rise in the third week of the month compared to volumes just before the fortnight run-up to the Holy Month began. This marked a 51 percent average increase over the period, Criteo said.

Internet travel bookings, on the other hand, grew incrementally in the last two weeks of Ramadan, from a 13 percent rise to a peak of a 42 percent rise in the subsequent two weeks post-Eid.

Mobile retail purchases peaked in the two weeks leading up to Ramadan, at 17 percent, while mobile travel bookings grew steadily during Ramadan, rising by 27 percent through Eid and remaining high over the week afterward.

Criteo’s data also revealed that Ramadan traditions influence shoppers’ behaviour throughout the day. More than a third — 36% of retail sales and 35% of travel bookings — happened between 9pm and 5am over the Ramadan period, it found.

Criteo’s report said: “To engage with shoppers, retailers need to know when they are most active online. Compared with the period prior to Ramadan where e-commerce transactions amounted to 73 percent during the day, transactions during Ramadan dropped to 64 percent.

“However, Criteo measured an increase in e-commerce sales to 36 percent in the evening once consumers have broken their fast – an increase from 27 percent during the evening in the pre-Ramadan period.

“This represents a timely  opportunity for retailers to reach out to shoppers,” the report said.

Dirk Henke, managing director – emerging markets, at Nasdaq-listed Criteo, said: “Ramadan is a cherished tradition in this region, and has an observable effect on the purchasing habits and online activity of shoppers.

“Retailers and travel providers need to accommodate the changes that take place in the lifestyles of millions of people across the region in order to effectively engage shoppers across all touchpoints.

“Picking the right time of the week as well as the time of the day will be essential to optimising digital marketing efforts to deliver impactful content at every stage in the customer journey.”

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How Ramadan has earned prime spot on Gulf fashion calendar

How Ramadan has earned prime spot on Gulf fashion calendar

From Dolce & Gabbana to Michael Kors, major brands are catering...

Focus: 'Amazon did not come to the region for Souq.com alone'

Focus: 'Amazon did not come to the region for Souq.com alone'

E-commerce experts say retailers will have to up their game following...

5
Saudis tighten their belts for Eid in age of austerity

Saudis tighten their belts for Eid in age of austerity

Gov't cuts, which began late in 2015, are now rippling through...

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking