Ramadan: An opportunity for brands to thrive
Two billion people worldwide observe Ramadan every year. It’s a month for meaningful reflection, and along with that comes the need for purposeful connection – with friends, family, the community, and charitable causes.
Marketers eagerly anticipate this time to launch personalized campaigns and maximize sales. And for a lot of brands, using technology proved to be the glue that helped them connect with their customers in a meaningful manner with contextual communication. This year, Ramadan is expected to see a recurring spike in mobile traffic as it did in the last few years.
Read on to learn about the consumer shopping habits that normally occur during Ramadan and how communication channels such as WhatsApp, RCS, and other messaging channels can help you connect with your customers.
What we know about consumer shopping habits in Ramadan
Sales are usually high throughout Ramadan. While numbers differ by country/ region, the global trend is consistent. Whether it’s preparing for Suhoor (meal before daybreak) and Iftar (breaking of fast), shopping for Eid, or donating to charities – there has been a significant shift in customer behavior.
The week leading up to Eid al-Fitr, which falls on April 22nd this year, is when sales peak. Food and apparel remain the most popular shopping categories during Ramadan, while travel purchases showed the most growth in 2022.
In a recent study done by Meta on consumer behavior in Ramadan and Eid, the research found that 2 in 3 believe brands should find ways of giving back to consumers and the community. It also found that:
said they discover new products or services on Instagram
said they discovered ideas online via Meta technologies
said they try out new brands when shopping in promotions
Promotions encourage discovery
Keeping this in mind, Ramadan is the month for discovery – not just for consumers but brands as well. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to connect meaningfully with customers – to ensure they are understood and heard.
Brands must show value in their messaging across all their communication channels. Ads must respect cultural sensitivities and consider that deep emotional links in society are at the heart of this significant occasion. After all, the success of any campaign lies in its messaging.
believe brands should find ways of giving back to consumers and the community
become more interested in a brand or product after learning about their business practices
used social media to share positive stories about a local business
said they’ve discouraged others from buying a product due to negative stories about business practices
Unity through technology — mobile empowers connection
Unity and togetherness are two of the key pillars of Ramadan, with people looking to connect. Technology in the form of chat apps has empowered this, especially since the pandemic. You can expand your reach and engage with a global audience through multi-country and multi-language dynamic ads.
more time using technology to connect with others during Ramadan/Eid because of COVID-19
said they use messaging apps to organize and connect with family and friends from afar
agreed that their mobile phones are an important source of entertainment and reflection during the season
agreed their mobile helped them get things done during spare moments in Ramadan
Considering the role technology can play, brands have an opportunity to connect more closely during this month.
- It can bridge gaps and bring people together at any time where they’re craving connection.
- Invite collective expression through social media, leveraging hashtags and fostering a “We’re all in this together” sentiment.
- Nurture one-on-one relationships with customers via channels they’re already using, such as WhatsApp Business, RCS or Messenger.
A demand for safety drives mobile shopping
Consumers, in general, have become more empowered and digitally informed. Many become impatient and very demanding during Ramadan. It is now more important for brands to stay one step ahead and leverage omnichannel solutions to reach customers on their terms.
With communication continuously evolving, mobile devices and WhatsApp enjoy a substantial increase in usage during Ramadan/Eid.
Whether customers are looking for traditional recipes, transferring money to charities or loved ones, or buying new clothes for Eid – social media, chat apps and native platforms such as RCS have been a boon for brands. These modern channels enable businesses to interact with customers through meaningful, rich media that drives actions.
Continuous shopping results in a surprising shopping peak
The weeks leading up to Ramadan are typically the busiest shopping times, but there’s now a surprising second peak.
The last ten days of Ramadan are observed with greater intent and piety as observers get ready for Eid. During this time, shoppers engage in a second shopping wave, marked by a spike in conversations containing mentions of “Eid” and sale-related terms.
This is the time brands need to delve deeper into their customer insights and send messages based on:
Brands need to connect with their customers personally, at scale. And that’s where chat apps such as WhatsApp Business Platform come in.
Today, over 60% of brands already use instant messaging, and most rely on 6-7 different tools to communicate with customers, based on 2020 research by Meta. However, to make a meaningful difference and connection, especially during months like Ramadan, they need to have:
- A customer data platform to leverage the insights to send the right message
- A customer engagement solution automate personalization at scale
- An omnichannel CPaaS solution to enable consistent messaging across all channels at the right time
Prepare for a successful Ramadan
Family and cooking are usually the most popular topics discussed during Ramadan, but there is no “one-size-fits-all solution” for customer engagement. Finding opportunities for cultural relevance, customizing your messages, using an omnichannel engagement strategy, and communicating during peak times are all important. Consumers value convenience, no matter how loyal they are, especially during unusual times.
To make Ramadan 2023 even better, track and attribute success within each marketing campaign and make sure you’re prepared for the spike in consumer demand.