Ramping up for Ramadan

Amazon Ads' Mohamad Itani sheds light on understanding the customer journey

As Ramadan 2024 approaches, the online retail landscape in the MENA region is poised for significant growth, with spending anticipated to reach $39 billion .

This period, deeply rooted in cultural and spiritual traditions, brings about a transformative phase for shopping habits, segmented into three crucial phases: Preparation, Ramadan and Eid.

In the preparation phase, shoppers begin gearing up for Ramadan, focusing on home and personal well-being. During this time, 57 per cent of consumers start their preparations two to four weeks in advance, with many in the UAE and KSA beginning even a month prior .

Here brands have a great opportunity to engage these early birds. Whether they’re making purchases in advance or deciding what to buy closer to the time, culturally relevant campaigns, highlighting product quality and fostering brand recognition have huge potential in this period.

The opportunity for advertising success doesn’t end there. In fact, 33 per cent of consumers are already relying on reviews at this stage with 26 per cent pre-emptively on the hunt for a deal and seeking discount vouchers.

The Heart of the Holy Month

As the month of Ramadan begins, a shift in consumer dynamics occurs. This period, marked as one of the biggest shopping moments of the year, sees customers actively seeking deals on groceries, gifts, and apparel.

Campaigns that align with the heightened demand and embrace the themes of Ramadan foster a deeper connection with the consumer base.

Moreover, 82% of UAE and 85% of KSA consumers are likely to purchase products discovered during the pre-Ramadan period, emphasising the importance of early and engaging advertising campaigns .

During this phase, Amazon can play a valuable role in the Ramadan shopping experience. In the UAE and KSA, a significant percentage of Amazon audiences plan to host, cook, and gift.

A notable 85 of UAE and 82% of KSA shoppers find that shopping on Amazon allows them more leisure time during Iftar preparations .

Advertising across Amazon, including on Amazon stores, Twitch and IMDb or with the Amazon DSP, can help brands enhance the Ramadan consumer experience. A significant percentage of customers are likely to make a purchase based on the ads they see, and many rely on these ads for repurchasing reminders post-Ramadan.

With a shopping mindset instilled, people are frequently using online retail sites as discovery tools, using them to browse and compare, regardless of their final purchasing destination .

This omni-channel behaviour means customers are frequently discovering products online before going on to purchase them in physical stores or on a brands’ website, underpinning the impact effective advertising can have for sales across the retail environment.

Festive Finale

The season culminates with the celebratory Eid Al-Fitr phase. At the heart of these celebrations lies the cherished tradition of gift-giving.

An overwhelming 81% in the UAE and 82% in KSA plan to participate in a gift exchange, underscoring the importance of thoughtful and meaningful presents and the opportunity for those brands who offer them .

For brands, this phase is the ideal opportunity to showcase products that not only capture the joy and festivity of Eid but also resonate with the cultural significance and the deep sense of community that defines this occasion.

By aligning their offerings with the festive mood, and consumers active desire for meaningful gifting, brands can create lasting impressions and form deeper connections during this special time as well as boosting conversion during a critical shopping period.

Ramadan 2024 requires a strategic and nuanced understanding of each phase’s unique shopping and discovery behaviours. Brands can gain an edge by ramping up their online presence before Ramadan, catching the eye of potential shoppers early on.

During Ramadan, conversion-driven campaigns that engage consumers are the priority, and transitioning in to Eid, aligning with the festive buzz can transform one-time buyers into loyal fans.

Navigating the Ramadan retail wave means playing it smart during each phase: getting noticed early, converting efficiently when it counts, and keeping the conversation going as the celebrations begin for Eid.

By Mohamad Itani, Head of Partnerships, EMEA, Amazon Ads