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Meta research reveals trends and behaviours of UAE consumers during Ramadan

With people’s openness to new things during Ramadan, discoveries are taking place across borders.

Ramadan is a global season of reflection and introspection, with almost two billion people observing it globally, fasting daily and connecting with friends and family. Gifting and shopping is a big part of the Ramadan moment. As a result, many discoveries are taking place across borders because of the shifts in people’s openness to exploring new things during Ramadan.

To better understand the behaviours of people who observe Ramadan and who shop for this season, Facebook IQ, Meta’s insights and research division, in partnership with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, has unveiled findings of a ​​study conducted during Ramadan 2021 titled Ramadan and Eid Study with over 13,000 respondents across nine countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The research shows that around 64% of shoppers across the UAE get excited about trying new brands and products from abroad with 55% of shoppers more likely to purchase from abroad during Ramadan and Eid if adverts are about these key moments.

Consumers during Ramadan are spending more on cross-border purchases than they did in previous years. And research shows that they are shopping across a range of different categories. For instance, UAE consumers are most likely to get products shipped from abroad from retail brands (67%), Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) category (46%), followed by technology/telecom brands (28%) and entertainment brands (25%) and travel (12%).

Fares Akkad, regional director for MENA, at Meta said: “Gifting and shopping is a big part of the Ramadan moment. The change in everyday habits leaves shoppers more open than usual to discovering new brands and products. This creates a unique opportunity for businesses to reach cross-border shoppers looking to discover products they’ll love—and Meta technologies can help build those connections.”

Here are three tips for UAE brands and businesses to effectively adapt and plan this Ramadan:

Diversity meets discovery

  • People shop across borders for a variety of reasons, including to find a higher quality product, a product with a better price point, or a product that is unavailable locally. Roughly a third of people shop from overseas retailers as well. More than 7 in 10 people make unexpected discoveries during Ramadan.

Building personalised connections

  • Buying from overseas during Ramadan, 62% of UAE shoppers feel it is important to see content in their local language while 27% of shoppers agree that they find content creators most influential during Ramadan/Eid al-Fitr as they help them discover new content and accounts that they might like.

Facilitating delightful purchases

  • 83% of cross-border shoppers made serendipitous discoveries while shopping during Ramadan—about 61% of those purchases were made seamlessly. Because these purchases are spontaneous, removing friction from the checkout process is more vital than ever. Conversions can be increased by providing a frictionless purchase journey.

The research is based on Ramadan and Eid Study’. To understand the behaviours of people who observe Ramadan and/or who shop during this season, Meta commissioned YouGov to survey 18,113 adults between May 13 and June 3, 2021, after Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. Approximately 1,500 interviews were completed in 12 countries, with each sample being nationally representative of online adults ages 18-64 based on age, gender and region in that market.

You can also take a closer look at the FBIQ Ramadan Interactive Report explore, compare and filter the findings to inform your Ramadan planning, understand audience expectations and forge more meaningful connections.