How Much More Did Consumers Buy During Ramadan 2021? - Parcel Monitor
You might have heard of major shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas during the holiday season, but did you know that Ramadan is one of the biggest shopping events for Muslims around the world?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar as well as the holiest month of the year. During this time of the year, Muslims from all over the world will go through a spiritual reflection and fast during daylight hours.
Last year many retailers had to prepare themselves for a Ramadan sales surge amidst the pandemic as Muslims took to e-commerce to prepare for festivities. Many countries with huge Muslim population: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore were still on strict lockdowns and practicingsocial distancing measures; consumers were forced to stay home and refrain from having large gatherings.
So how did Ramadan 2021 look like for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore? During Ramadan (13th April to 14th May 2021), it appears that these countries were on lockdowns that were less strict compared to a year before. Indonesia went into a “soft lockdown” , Malaysia had extended their movement control order (MCO), and Singapore was still in Phase 3 of circuit breaker.
Parcel volume increased by an average of 37.7% during Ramadan in all 3 countries
Parcel volume increased by 55%, 23% and 35% during Ramadan in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore respectively as Muslim shoppers geared up for Eid al-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting period.
The most searched items were in the categories of Health & Beauty, Fashion, Food & Drink, and Home & Living. Categories such as Fashion had strong search performances as they are deemed appropriate gifts for friends and family. Groceries, food and drink are also popular for Iftar preparations, which is the evening meal eaten by Muslims to break their daily fast after sunset.
For instance, dates, which Muslims consume to break fast before prayers and meals in the evening, are often bought in bulk before or early into the Ramadan month.
Another reason for the notable increase in parcel volume during Ramadan is the emergence and growth of an e-commerce ecosystem targeted towards Muslims consumers, which had developed during the pandemic. New platforms and stores such as Kedai Sujimy, SoukAsia and Choket.my that offer products targeted at Muslim consumers sprung up and grew during this period.
With Southeast Asia seeing 40 million new online shoppers in 2020 alone, many of the platforms and retailers targeting Muslim shoppers in the region were preparing for even more e-commerce activity in 2021. Ramadan bazaars, such as Singapore’s largest annual Geylang Serai bazaar, had moved online again on marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada in 2021 for a second year of festivities and online shopping.
On top of that, many Ramadan shoppers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are mobile-first consumers, making online shopping much more accessible during the Ramadan period.
Average transit time increased 18.7% during Ramadan across all 3 countries
Transit time increased during Ramadan to 1.7, 1.8 and 2.2 days for Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore respectively. This is likely due to the surge in e-commerce activity during Ramadan – which saw a 107% and 40% spike in mobile sales and desktop respectively. This was coupled with reduced working hours and commercial activities during the fasting month in Muslim nations such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
In Malaysia, for instance, courier service companies shortened their operating hours during Ramadan and Hari Raya which affected pickup times in the country. Additionally, courier services were halted during the first two days of Eid, which are public holidays for Malaysians. The potential delays that occur during Ramadan is also a reason why Ramadan sales peak a week or two before the fasting period ends. Ramadan shoppers want to ensure their orders arrive in time for the Eid celebrations, with merchants providing them with cut-off timings for their holiday purchases.
With the rise in e-commerce activity during Ramadan, we are excited to see how more merchants, retailers and marketplaces evolve to further tap on the huge online shopping potential of this significant holiday!
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