April 7, 2021
Shimaa Emam

Is your e-commerce business ready for Ramadan?

We’re only a few hours away from the holy month of Ramadan, where everything somewhat changes - people’s behavior and attitude, daily routine, sleeping schedule and working hours.

If your e-commerce business serves the Middle East generally and Egypt specially, then you’re definitely familiar with people’s buying behaviors during this month! However, with the current aggravating situation and the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, you need to double check your plan for this Ramadan as this year it is different than any other. What’s more is the Ministry of Awqaf’s announcement to suspend all activities including Tarawih prayers, the free Iftar banquets and the closure of mosques which is going to lead to a completely different Ramadan experience for everyone.

Given that different decisions regarding the curfew were raised in the last months but it is still uncertain during Ramadan, you should prepare your business for all cases. Now is the time to make hypotheses and place strategies suitable for all the probabilities so that you minimize the element of surprise. Check your stores’ supplies, your business operations, your employees’ capacity and any component that might factor in.

Here is your ultimate guide to managing an e-commerce business during Ramadan:

  1. Think customer-first!

Start your work by imaging and drawing your customers’ recent attitudes, emotions, needs and buying behaviors. Study fast and be data driven; then, manage your online campaigns and stores to satisfy the customers based on that. 

Put your customer first before any action you take, and adapt fast to any changes and updates. Most importantly, respect the current psychological state of your customers given all the surrounding stress and uncertainty.

  1. A comprehensive social media experience for your clients

Working from home due to social isolation, with fewer working hours but long fasting ones..people’s social media consumption will skyrocket this Ramadan!

Consider these insights while working on your social media strategy:

  • Focus on scheduling your posts during the right timings.

Social media usage peaks on weekends, early morning hours (3AM - 5AM) and before sunset; these are the most popular times for online shopping during Ramadan. With no Tarawih prayers in mosques, people could also shop online after Iftar. Around these optimum hours, plan your advertising strategy so that you grow your sales.

  • Tailor social media content around the day; pre-Iftar posts must be different than posts during Suhoor.

  • Give your auto-reply messages the vibe of Ramadan so that you could be relevant to your audience.

  • Adjust your content to suit different social media platforms. As users go back and forth between the platforms, you need to be present across them all.

  • Consider a Youtube campaign!

Ramadan is characterized with high watching habits; Youtube consumption increases by 40% during this month. With 50% of users preferring to watch with family and friends, people will opt for online watching parties during the current situation to keep the social distance. So while working on your campaigns, remember that people usually engage with emotional, sentimental and personal content.

  • Trends and hot topics are essential to your daily posts.

Keep an eye on what’s trending by checking the popular hashtags on Twitter or through the searches on Google Trends to keep up to date with what people are interested in these days.

3. Mobile-friendly everything!

Make sure everything, from your online store to your social media content, is mobile friendly. Google reported that searches on mobile represented more than 60% of total queries during the quarantine days. This is approximately 5% higher than the average mobile share during other months. This change is crucial; so if you can’t offer a mobile friendly shopping experience, the majority of your customers will resort to other alternatives.

4. The time for Arabic content is now.

Ramadan is a great season all over the world but in countries where the population speaks Arabic, your online content will make a difference. People search a lot for recipes, techniques, new styles and advice. Surprisingly, online Arabic content is very poor; so if you offer quality content, your business stands out and you will win the competition. If Netflix is increasing its Arabic content, shouldn’t you?


5. New buying behaviors

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there are a lot of opportunities and challenges raised. Check this article to match your e-commerce with the recent status. 

Among the opportunities during this Ramadan is an opportunity for businesses that are in-demand these days. Businesses that offer family activities, food recipes (especially healthy options), home workout tools and programs, religious clothes and children’s toys will benefit from the rise in demand and achieve higher sales. During these times, people are seeking online shopping to relieve stress caused by the quarantine and the outbreak.

• Advertising and commercial breaks’ reach increases by 76% compared to pre-Ramadan period;
• Responses from coffee/tea ads increase by 29%;
• Communication ads increase by 77%; 
• Textile ads increase by 294%;
• Advertising expenditure of ready-to-drink beverages grows by 110%;
• The total spending on advertising milk, dates, mouth fresheners, tea, coffee, desserts, soup products, noodles, juice and syrup increases significantly to over 447%!

6. Ramadan is all about offers

People wait for Ramadan to see the offers in store that will save money and provide the best packages. Taking in consideration the previous point on how buying behavior has changed, this is the best time to differentiate your business from the competition. 

As the number of customers in the marketplace is increasing, competition among organizations is also increasing to meet that demand. Whichever industry you’re working in, look for opportunities that include:

- Investing in strategies that set your shopping experience apart from competitors;

- Proposing special offers, and creating a more streamline shopping experience;

- Creating a dedicated Ramadan coupon for online shopping to increase your e-commerce sales;

- Offer a 10% discount when customers reach a certain purchasing number to up-sell your products;

- Partnering with other brands to bring extra value to your customers.

7. Handling delivery and courier companies

To close the loop, here comes the most important step! Working online means that courier companies are your street army. There may be a noticeable delay in handling the last mile delivery in Ramadan due to the long fasting hours and shorter working ones, added to trouble already caused by the curfew and spread of COVID-19. 

Take it easy, though. If you’re not in the food and medicine e-commerce industry, you’re off the hook; as customers who order online don’t expect their order to arrive the next day. With the recent situation, people have become more understanding about the delays. You just need to take some preparatory measures, and arrange with your courier company the expected delivery time so that you can accurately inform your customers. Most importantly, don’t forget to assure them that you and the couriers are following the sanitation and safety procedures to eliminate any worries from their side.

8. Don’t forget the feast

Remember that Ramadan is 30 days, but during the last 10 days of the month, people start preparing for the feast, which is an incredible opportunity for brands to multiply their sales. Make sure you work on feast-related content and prepare online campaigns that you can go live with by the end of Ramadan.

Your e-commerce business is now ready? Set? Go make the best out of Ramadan!

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