E-commerce has picked up pace in the Middle East and Asia in recent months. With the proliferation of smartphones, countries such as Indonesia are witnessing an e-commerce boom. The pace of e-commerce shopping quickens further during Ramadan. In fact, consumers in the Middle East and North African (MENA) regions spend as much as 60% more during the holy month. For MENA region, sales peak in the week before Ramadan.
How to Cash-in on This Online Surge
Common wisdom might suggest that the period close to Id-ul-Fitr might be the best time to start promoting your e-commerce app. Most employees receive their Ramadan bonus close to the end of the Ramadan month, which means more disposable income. However, the end of Ramadan is too late to start looking for gifts or even to book tickets. If you want to capitalize on Ramadan, it is important to start your marketing efforts early.
a. Start at least two weeks prior to Ramadan
Starting early gives you the advantage of keeping your cost-per-install down (CPI). As traffic surges during Ramadan, competitors can drive up the CPI. There is also the advantage of luring-in your customers with interesting content and offers.
Ramadan-related keyword searches rise a month before Ramadan begins. Build a content strategy around these keywords. For instance, healthy food recipes are a recurring theme during Ramadan. As an e-commerce retailer, you can supply your target audience with interesting recipes and drive them to related product pages, such as pages selling kitchen items.
Similarly, if you have a health app, you can increase app-engagement by building Ramadan-related food content.
b. Target them during early morning
During the Ramadan month, traffic to e-commerce stores increases by 152 percent between 3:00 am and 6:00 am. The next most popular time for online shopping during Ramadan is lunch-hours. Build your advertising and content strategy around those times to optimize your ROI.
If you are on a restricted budget, you could also utilize this information to drive down your cost-per-click (CPC).
c. Stay relevant
Healthy food, religious clothing, and lifestyle products are the most popular categories during Ramadan. Build your marketing strategy around these themes. Try to have an emotional connection with your audience before you start selling to them. Try to find the most common words used by people during Ramadan and include them in your ads and online content.
Tweak your marketing strategy according to the kind of e-commerce app you have. For instance, apps such as OLX Indonesia, which facilitate buying and selling of second-hand items, get more traffic around Id-ul-Fitr. Similarly, there is a surge in searches for train tickets in Indonesia two months prior to Ramadan.
Keep such insights in mind while devising a marketing strategy for your e-commerce app.
d. Adopt a multi-device strategy
Almost 50 percent of shoppers in South East Asia use multiple devices when shopping online. Furthermore, 25 percent switch between devices before making a purchase. While mobile devices are important when marketing your e-commerce app, adopting a multi-device approach is likely to yield better results.
In addition, it is important to stay consistent with your marketing messages. Use retargeting to follow visitors of your app. Retargeting can also be used to nudge users who have abandoned their carts or viewed a product several times.
When combined with interesting offers and discounts, the strategies above can be used to acquire new customers, reduce your app’s churn rate and even increase in-app purchases.