Online Retail and Travel Purchases Increase in the Lead Up to Ramadan, But Retailers Must Recognise Shopping Habits During Key Periods of the Festival

Online Retail and Travel Purchases Increase in the Lead Up to Ramadan, But Retailers Must Recognise Shopping Habits During Key Periods of the Festival

·         Online sales and website traffic start increasing three weeks before Ramadan; eCommerce sales spiked by 110 percent during the third week of Ramadan
·         Shoppers spend less time browsing and shopping online during sundown and Eid; retailers can engage them again at night when online browsing and sales increase
·         Mobile continues to be a key driver for discovery and sales with an increase of 126 percent – surpassing desktops – during Ramadan; half of the shoppers used multiple devices

Singapore – 13 April 2017 – Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), the performance marketing technology company, today released seasonal data to help eCommerce businesses better engage consumers during the festive season. It revealed that online sales and traffic increased in the lead up to and during Ramadan, but declined during Eid el-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Based on consumers’ online browsing and buying activity, the three weeks leading up to Ramadan, and more specifically, the third week of Ramadan represent the biggest opportunity for retailers to engage consumers when they are actively browsing and purchasing items for upcoming celebrations. During this period, there was an average of 67 percent uplift in online retail sales and 14 percent uplift in online travel sales.

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. During the fasting period in the day, eCommerce transactions were lower at 71 percent, compared to 76 percent for the period prior to Ramadan. However, after breaking fast, there is an increase in eCommerce sales to 29 percent, from 24 percent pre-Ramadan, representing a timely opportunity for retailers to reach out to shoppers.

Understanding how and what shoppers are buying is also crucial. With 37 percent of onsite retail conversions happening on the mobile app, retailers need to be investing beyond just a mobile-friendly site to an intuitive app. Fashion-related items are the most popular during this period, followed by home and living products and electronics, toys and games.

“Ramadan is an important festive season in this region. Rapidly rising disposable incomes, a growing appetite for modest fashion, halal products and services mean that retailers need to enlist smart solutions to engage shoppers across all touchpoints and deliver the most impactful content at every point in the customer journey. As shoppers spend time with their friends and families after sundown and on Eid, they are less likely to browse and shop online. Retailers must pick the right time of the week and time of day to increase their digital marketing efforts, so they can achieve an uptick in online transactions,” said Alban Villani, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Criteo.

Criteo analysed more than 8 million online transactions from 143 retailers based in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Other key findings from the report include:

  • Website traffic and eCommerce sales increased from three weeks before Ramadan and spiked during weeks three and four, with an increase of 110 percent and 77 percent respectively.
  • During the start of Eid el-Fitr, there was a decline of 44 percent in online sales and 20 percent in website traffic. However, in the week post-Eid, online sales rebounded, increasing 35 percent.
  • During weeks three and four of Ramadan, online mass merchants were the biggest growth driver – with an increase of 87 percent and 52 percent respectively.
  • The cross-device journey – 46 percent of shoppers were found to be viewing products across multiple devices, with one in four shoppers switching devices at least 3 times during their purchasing journey.

“In addition, retailers need to embrace omni-channel marketing – as we continue to see the rise of offline-to-online and online-to-offline (O2O) shopping habits. Our data shows that during the period of Ramadan, shoppers are browsing in stores and purchasing online, and vice-versa. However, whichever way you look, mobile will still be the foundational building block and key driver in O2O retail. Half of the retail transactions in Southeast Asia are already taking place on mobile,” said Villani.

For more information on Criteo’s analysis on shopping behaviour during Ramadan 2016, download the full infographic at

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