Monday 01, May 2017 by Jessica Combes

Retail sales increase by 51 per cent during Ramadan


Performance marketing technology company, Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), has released seasonal data to help eCommerce businesses better engage consumers during Ramadan.

The data revealed that retail sales and traffic in 2016 increased in the lead up to and during Ramadan, but declined slightly during Eid el-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of the festive season. Travel bookings grew incrementally in the last two weeks of Ramadan, and peaked in the subsequent two weeks post-Eid. Meanwhile, mobile retail purchases peaked in the two weeks leading up to Ramadan and mobile travel bookings skyrocketed through Eid and the week afterward.


“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,” said Dirk Henke, Managing Director Emerging Markets, Criteo.


Based on consumers’ online browsing and buying activity, two periods in particular have been identified by Criteo as the most opportune times for retailers and travel providers to engage with consumers. The two weeks leading up to Ramadan, as well as the last two weeks of the Holy month are when consumers are actively browsing and purchasing items for upcoming celebrations. During this period in 2016, retail sales increased by 51 per cent on average, whereas travel sales grew by 27 per cent.


Criteo’s data also revealed that Ramadan traditions influence shoppers’ behaviour throughout the day. To engage with shoppers, retailers need to know when they are most active online. In comparison to the period prior to Ramadan where e-commerce transactions amounted to 73 per cent during the day, transactions during Ramadan dropped to 64 per cent. However, Criteo measured an increase in eCommerce sales to 36 per cent, during the evening after consumers break their fast–an increase up from 27 per cent at the same time period pre-Ramadan, representing a timely opportunity for retailers to reach out to shoppers.


Criteo analysed close to a million transactions from over 100 retail and travel advertisers based in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia across desktop, smartphones and tablets. Other key findings from the report include:

· Retail sales sharply increased from 18 per cent two weeks before Ramadan and peaked at 66 per cent in the third week of Ramadan.

· Travel bookings increased steadily from 13 per cent in the second week of Ramadan to 37 per cent by week four. A similar trend can be observed during Eid, which revealed a 19 per cent increase in travel bookings and peaked at 42 per cent by the end of the second week after the conclusion of Eid.

· Mobile purchasing accounted for a 17 per cent of total retail sales in the weeks leading up to Ramadan, and 27 per cent share of all travel bookings during and after Eid.

· More than a third–36 per cent of retail sales and 35 per cent of travel bookings–happened between 9pm and 5am over the Ramadan period.

· The cross-device journey–43 per cent of shoppers were found to be viewing products across multiple devices, with six out of ten shoppers using multiple devices prior to purchase, and three out of ten switching devices at least three times during their purchasing journey.



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