What Ramadan Means for Retailers in 2017

Updated on September 16, 2020

Every year, retail sales soar in several regions that observe the holy month of Ramadan, including Southeast Asia, Turkey, and the Middle East. In 2017, Ramadan will start around May 26th, followed by Eid al-Fitr from June 25th – 27th — nearly two weeks earlier than in 2016. For retailers, that presents a great opportunity to take note of seasonal shopping trends.

Here are the Ramadan retail spikes we saw last year*:

  •    In the Middle East, there was a 51% uptick in retail sales
  •    In Southeast Asia, there was a 67% increase in retail sales
  •    In Turkey, there was a 16% lift in retail sales

And while they may occur at slightly different times across regions, sales peak early — before or just after Ramadan begins:

  •    In the Middle East and Southeast Asia, retail sales pick up before Ramadan even begins — as early as two weeks out — and so does website traffic. If you’re a retailer in these regions, you’ll want to ramp up your shopping campaigns several weeks beforehand.
  •    In Turkey, retail sales pick up early during Ramadan itself — as soon as week one — and so does the number of website visitors. If you’re a retailer in Turkey, be sure to increase your marketing efforts as soon as Ramadan begins, if not earlier.

One of the hallmarks of Ramadan is dawn-to-dusk fasting, which ends once the sun goes down. That means that throughout the 30-day period, daytime quiet gives way to nighttime buzz when people are able to eat and drink, giving retailers more opportunities for incremental sales increases at night:

  •    In Southeast Asia, nearly a third (29%) of retail sales happened between 9pm and 5am over the Ramadan period, a 21% increase against pre-Ramadan levels.
  •    In the Middle East, over a third (36%) of retail sales happened at night over the course of the season, a 33% increase compared to non-Ramadan times of year.

For more Ramadan insights and tips, check out this eBook or reach out to us at info@criteo.com.

*The baseline used for pre-Ramadan comparisons period was April 2016. For the Middle East, we analyzed 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. For Southeast Asia, we analyzed over 8 million transactions from 143 retail advertisers based in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. For Turkey, we analyzed over 9 million transactions from close to 250 Turkish retail and travel advertisers. For all regions, we looked across desktop, smartphones, and tablets.

Michelle Pruett

As Global Head of Content at Criteo, Michelle leads a high-performing, multi-disciplinary team of marketers packaging insights, copy, design, and video into integrated campaigns. Her own writing has been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, AdWeek, eMarketer, and more. Before joining the ...

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