11 May 2018

Sales for Ramadhan peak two weeks before Raya

Source: Criteo Ramadan 2018 report.  Ramadhan graphic.
Source: Criteo Ramadan 2018 report.
Ramadhan graphic.
- The peak shopping period for Ramadhan 2017 was about two weeks before Eid al-Fitr

- Health/beauty and electronics categories saw the biggest sales uplift in Singapore, whereas Southeast Asia (SEA) saw the biggest sales uplift from health/beauty and toys/games. 

- More retail shoppers in SEA are shopping on mobile

Criteo, the commerce marketing technology company, has released seasonal data for Ramadhan from 2017 to help commerce providers better engage shoppers in anticipation of the festive season. According to the company, retailers should intensify their advertising campaign efforts during specific periods in Ramadhan to gain early visibility, increase engagement with shoppers and enhance sales.

The analysis revealed strong online sales in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region in the lead up to and during Ramadhan, which took place from 26 May to 24 June in 2017. Ramadhan 2018 begins 17 May, and ends 14 June. In 2017 online retail sales were at its peak on 8 June, about two weeks before Eid al-Fitr 2017 (25 June). Eid is on 15 June for 2018. 

A maximum of 52% increase in online retail sales was observed during this period in 2017, indicating exactly when shoppers are more compelled to spend for the season. Online travel sales also saw a gradual rise during Ramadhan, with the biggest uplift seen two days after Eid al-Fitr – a 14% uplift.

The top performing sub-verticals in the SEA region, based on uplifts in sales are:
- Toys and games – 62% (Singapore: 98%)
- Health and beauty – 53%(Singapore: 143%)
- Electronics – 42% (Singapore: 99%)
- Home and living – 42% (Singapore: 91%)

The trend is similar elsewhere. Shoppers in the Middle East typically shop a couple of weeks before Ramadhan begins as well, Criteo said. This trend continues to escalate during Ramadjan, where the highest uplift in sales was observed one to two weeks before Eid al-Fitr. 

Consumer electronics, fashion, and food and travel lead the way as the strongest performing sub-verticals, but more people are also shopping online for home and living goods, health and beauty products, and groceries. A difference between the region and SEA was that travel sales saw a surge in the last week of Ramadhan as many in the Middle East tend to travel during Eid al-Fitr, which also corresponds with three-month summer holidays in the region.

“The global halal industry is projected to surpass US$1 trillion in size by 2030*. Given that Ramadhan is a key festival in the region, SEA is set to contribute significantly to this market growth. We are seeing a rise in variety and awareness of halal products amongst Muslim and non-Muslim shoppers. Retailers can stand out by bidding more aggressively at the right time to boost online engagement and transactions,” said Alban Villani, GM, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Criteo.

Criteo’s findings also highlighted the need for retailers to optimise their mobile apps and sites for increased retail sales and travel bookings during Ramadhan. More retail shoppers in SEA are shopping on mobile, as seen by the maximum uplift of mobile apps at 64% (Singapore: 61%) and 52% (Singapore: 46%) on the mobile web. Travel sales are no exception, with SEA noting a 28% maximum uplift in sales for mobile apps three days after Eid-al-Fitr and the mobile web four days after Eid-al-Fitr respectively. 

For Singapore, the maximum uplift in sales for mobile apps was close to three weeks after Eid-al-Fitr at 20%, while maximum uplift in mobile web occurred slightly over two weeks after Eid-al-Fitr at 33%.

“Millennials are a rising demographic within the Islamic community*. They are tech-savvy and use social media to regularly connect with their favourite brands. With Millennials having a greater inclination towards discovering new online products and purchasing them during Ramadhan, this season presents retailers with a key opportunity to engage both first-time and existing buyers. This sets the platform for further engagement beyond the Ramadhan season, through our commerce marketing technology, to sustain brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. Our findings reinforce that mobile is an imperative channel for retailers to effectively reach out to Millennials,” said Villani.

Criteo’s findings were derived through an analysis of more than 44 million retail shopping transactions and more than 28 million travel sales transactions on desktops and mobile devices from 57 major advertisers across the SEA region.


Read the Criteo report for Ramadhan in SEA 2018

*State of the Global Islamic Economy 2017/18, Thomson Reuters