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Retailers who know these tips during Ramadan will win. The rest will bust

Ramadan is just around the corner starting May 15 and ending June 14.

The month of Ramadan is not only marked by dusk to dawn fasting, but also tends to draw crowds into shopping malls, especially in the UAE and Saudi, but online buying sprees are not to be ignored.

A report published by Criteo, a commerce marketing technology company, showed that an increase of 51% in online retail sales happens in the Middle East during Ramadan.

According to Think With Google, a Google subdivision that shares insights and studies, “during Ramadan people watch more YouTube, perform more searches and access the internet on their mobile devices more frequently.”

“However, brands continue to invest heavily in traditional advertising channels during the holy month, despite the fact that advertising costs skyrocket and chances of making an impression plummet,” it added.

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How can the retail business benefit?

Google published an insight in which it advised retailers in the MENA to take advantage of digital marketing to reach consumers more efficiently.

Google said, “Ramadan offers three key windows of opportunity: before, during and around Eid al-Fitr.”

And it answers the question of how to benefit from these three windows.

Before Ramadan: “many consumers are searching for deals and offers that brands are running especially for the holy month.” It continues to explain that Search ads, bumper ads (five-second video teaser campaigns) and engagement ads are effective formats for promoting upcoming Ramadan offers.

Food-related ads during this time generate positive reactions because people tend to search for pre-Ramadan recipes online,” Google said.

During Ramadan: “Capitalizing on the public’s increased consumption of YouTube content, mastheads and videos on YouTube effectively communicate brands’ messages during Ramadan,” Google said.

“Local brands like Al Marai and international brands such as Coca-Cola have found success by running YouTube campaigns during Ramadan that focus more on the themes of the holy month than individual products.”

Eid al-Fitr: As Eid al Fitr (last days of fasting) approaches, the most successful digital advertising are engagement ads (to celebrate Eid), according to Google.

Google data shows a huge interest in perfume and celebratory clothes for the holiday which Think With Google identifies as a clear reflection of consumer needs during the festive period.

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What sells most during Ramadan?

The report said most people prefer paying cash on delivery for online purchases, so “Retailers offering cash on delivery and multiple payment options will win more sales during Ramadan.”

Clothing is the sector that witnesses the highest increase in sales during Ramadan, as the report published by Criteo mentions, such as the fashion sector registering a 55% surge in sales during 2017.

Online retail witnesses a 29% uplift in general, with a 21% rise in visitors, Criteo reported.

As for food and restaurants, Step-feed a digital publishing platform conducted a survey in which the majority of respondents (93%) expect to increase their spending primarily on groceries and food.

While Criteo mentioned in their report that 7 out of 10 people prefer to dine, otherwise, people confirmed that when at home they tend to order food delivery through an online delivery application.

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Traveling during Ramadan

People tend to spend more money on travelling during Ramadan, especially during the last week of fasting where they dramatically spike.

The report mentions that nearly 85% purchase their travel tickets online, travel agent or comparison site, and also via the airline app.

Based on that Criteo suggests that “In order to win more sales, convince users to download the travel booking app before Ramadan starts. Then start promoting offers to drive visits and re-visits, and keep the app users interested during the Ramadan month.