Ramadan is a time for giving, togetherness and spending time with family. Consequently, it is also one of the most important marketing periods for brands operating in the Middle East. Around a month before Ramadan starts, consumer behavior online and offline changes dramatically. As people’s sleep and work schedules change, so does their purchasing behavior, which results in unique user behavior that brands can tune into when it comes to designing their marketing campaigns. One approach is introducing Ramadan offers tailored to your customers, which may help improve your sales during this time of the year.
Spend increases during Ramadan; as over half of consumers in the UAE, Saudi and Egypt expect to spend more money during Ramadan, mostly on food and household goods but also on travel, fashion, and Eid gifts. Which makes it a great time for your business to promote your Ramadan specific offers, and work on boosting your customer engagement, and sales. Let’s explore how.
Why do you need to promote Ramadan offers?
No matter what time of the year it is the word ‘offer’ itself is very appealing. If you’re still wondering whether your business should customize Ramadan offers the below data might convince you.
Shopping & Gifting
Ramadan is a period of great significance in the MENA region, and it consequently influences purchasing and consumption patterns. Whether it is to pull together that special iftar meal for the family or find a smart Eid outfit for your little one, the consumer choice of Ramadan offers is abundant.
In Egypt, the demand for discounts and promotions on specific categories grew between 40% and 76% during Ramadan in 2018. Survey data showed that the highest rise in online retail sales and website visitors was seen in the week before the Eid. Online retail sales showed a peak increase in revenue of over 42%, while site visitors peaked at over 35% in the Middle East during Ramadan. This sheds light on the trend of shopping activities that commences before Ramadan and escalates in the following weeks, with the highest uplift in sales seen in the third week. Moreover, due to the traditional gifting during the Eid, 61% of survey respondents in KSA and 58% in UAE said that they plan to buy gifts for others during Ramadan.
This highlights that it is important for marketers and advertisers to consider the shift in habits during this time and tailor their offers to consumers in order to provide superior value, become part of the consumer narrative and meet their needs.
Dining and restaurants
After hours of fasting, cooking might be a bit exhausting and tiresome. That’s why during this month, 78% of the UAE residents will eat out, with 46% doing so at least once a week. While in Saudi Arabia 65% of the population will eat out at restaurants, with 38% doing so at least once a week. So, although long fasting hours mean abstaining from eating throughout the day, evening behaviour after iftar changes, with more people out and about, a good opportunity for restaurant and cafe owners
Ramadan also has a significant impact on travel plans and bookings. Research found that travel searches steadily increase during the first 25 days of Ramadan, and a sharp rise is seen during the Eid and the following period of summer holidays with an increase of over 350%. Although people travel less during Ramadan, 43% of survey respondents in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia expect to travel during Eid. Travel bookings witness a sudden surge in the fourth week of Ramadan with an increase of up to 75% in weekly sales (I am most definitely one of the contributors to this spike!) and an average sales uplift of 39% during Ramadan. 62% of travelers said that the most appealing promotions during Eid are discounted promotional offers on flights, followed by discounts on hotel stays.
Ideas for Ramadan offers
Now that we’ve established the fact that Ramadan offers are attractive, especially for certain industries. Let’s explore how your business can customize these promotions.
Group or family or deals
We’ve previously mentioned that Ramadan is a time for closeness and families coming together. It’s a time when families gather for iftar and suhoor, possibly after a long span of time. You can use this to come up with group and family offers. This way you won’t only be drawing more customers towards your business, you’ll be promoting one of the pillars and core values of that month.
Special night offers
Regular working hours aren’t the case for Ramadan, so make an effort to open your doors after iftar and up until suhoor time. This is particularly great for restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. Make sure that the change in your working hours is reflected in your Google My Business listing. If your website is built using GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool, you can easily create and edit your listing through the dashboard. And don’t forget to promote this through your social media platforms and marketing campaign.
Display compassion and celebrate the spirit of giving
One of the most important values of Ramadan is compassion and giving. So how can you embrace these principles without hurting your margins? The ‘buy one get one free’ deals fall directly in line with Ramadan. It’s all about promoting social responsibility and generosity, as you’re sharing what you have.
In addition to that, plan Ramadan offers that emphasis on donations and adopting a social cause. For example, for every sale you make 10% of the proceeds will be donated to a certain cause that your business embraces, i.e. the homeless or the underprivileged. This will not only help in bringing people together and growing your business, but also serves a noble social cause of giving back to the society.
How can brands benefit?
We’ve discussed the fact that during Ramadan consumers show a paradigm shift in terms of spending patterns and consumption. This isn’t limited to one industry, it involves entertainment, food & beverage, travel and other related consumer goods. So, besides the cultural and social significance of Ramadan, it is also an important period for businesses to amplify their marketing efforts targeted towards their consumers.
Coming up with the offers is halfway, but in order to actually see results, your customers need to know about your offers, the question is how?
- Social media campaigns: Make sure you announce these offers and promote them on your social media platform. You can also check the following article that explains how to plan an effective social media strategy during Ramadan.
- Video ads: Videos play a huge role during Ramadan, as people consume more videos on YouTube, and they prefer longer forms. You can plan Ramadan focused videos that promote your brand, your offers and embrace your business’s messaging.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses. You can start sending personalized newsletters with promo codes and offers for Ramadan. You can use GoDaddy’s Email Marketing tool to create eye catching emails.
It’s essential to get your marketing strategies right for Ramadan, and to also start planning as early as possible. Remember to stay true to the essence of this month and form emotional and sentimental bonds with your customers. The ideas presented in this article are designed to strike the right chord with the target audience and improve brand perception while maximizing sales and revenue.