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Ramadan 2022 to be over $6 bn e-commerce opportunity in MENA Share via

Ramadan 2022, the second-biggest online shopping season in the MENA region after Black Friday, is expected to generate over $6 billion in online sales for the retailers in this part of the world on the back of ease of Covid-19 restrictions, which have marred the celebrations for a couple of years in a row. ArabyAds, the leading e-commerce technology company in MENA, predicts that Ramadan will amount to $6.18 billion in e-commerce sales this year, with groceries and personal care driving the majority consumption. 

This is a massive jump of more than 35 percent in e-commerce sales compared to last year’s Ramadan, where the numbers stood at around $4.5 billion. Since the Ramadan celebration was subdued in 2020 and 2021, there is pent-up demand and excitement amongst shoppers that is expected to send the e-commerce spending soaring significantly.

Our calculations are based on extensive research of over 300 top online brands with whom we work and prediction modeling of data from the past four years. 

Grocery will lead the way

As has been the norm during many previous Ramadan months, grocery will see the highest spending online from the shoppers in the MENA region. According to our estimates, around 42 percent of the region’s e-commerce spending will be done on grocery and personal care items during Ramadan. In addition, there is a massive uptick in demand for fruits and groceries as friends and family gather in the evening to break the fast and spend quality time together. While most people will look to prepare the meals at home, many consumers will also opt for online food delivery. As a result, more than 15 percent of overall online spending during Ramadan will be done on ordering food online, predicts ArabyAds.

Besides groceries, another vertical that will see a big online splurge by the shoppers in the MENA region is fashion and accessories, which would roughly account for around 33 percent of the overall spending. As Ramadan is also the month of gifting and dressing up, the sale of fashion items like apparel, footwear, beauty, and accessories will see a considerable fillip. Sales of electronics and online entertainment will round up the total consumption expected by the online retailers this year.

Top tips for a successful Ramadan

Ramadan, which was primarily an offline retail event, has become one of the mainstays for the e-commerce industry in MENA, which, together with Black Friday, now accounts for almost 40 percent of the annual e-tail spending here. As the penetration of e-commerce is increasing by the day in the region, online retailers should consider certain tips to get the best out of this shopping season. 

  • Redesign your website: This might seem like obvious advice, but brands tend to underestimate the effect redesigning has on the consumers. Much like the stores decorating to fit the Ramadan theme, your platforms need to reflect that. Leverage images of family gatherings that come with the holy month in all your marketing messages, and make sure that you highlight the Ramadan theme everywhere, from your homepage to your app icons.
  • Highlight the “Giving Back Movement”: The charitable acts are pretty high this month, and consumers tend to shop more when they feel companies align with these principles. Hence, highlighting whatever charitable activity you do will be very well perceived.
  • Get ready for the herd: The shift from a very idle week to the “herd effect” of pre-Eid preparation is significant while preparing your stocks, supply chain, and managing your website traffic. This sudden increase is because of the region’s traditional Eid celebration, where everyone wears new items during the first three days. As a result, fashion products will be in very high demand during the end period.
  • Take advantage of Ramadan trends: Video consumption increases by ten times during this month, especially during iftar times. So this is your time to get creative with video ads. Following current Arabic series trends and themes, you can get a very high engagement rate and leverage the immense traffic on social media that is already starving for entertainment. 

The top three countries with the highest e-commerce spending in MENA, i.e., the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, will be at the forefront once again as the region looks to increase the overall online shopping pie with the shoppers looking to shop to their heart’s content at the comfort and safety of their homes and great Ramadan discounts.

(This article is based on the findings of the report by Alia Khalifa, Head of Market Insights at ArabyAds)