From Shelf to Self: Opportunities for Brands as Ramadan Goes Online

Ramadan is one of the most celebrated festivals for Muslims across the globe. A month-long annual festival, Ramadan is a time for observers of the faith to reflect, fast, and celebrate together with Eid-al-Fitr.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic left a huge impact on the festivities as people remained indoors. With the pandemic continuing this year as well, the economic and health uncertainties coupled with social distancing norms mean that there is likely to be very little change from last year on consumer behavior.

Traditionally, Ramadan is dominated by offline shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. However, 2020 brought on a sea change in the way Ramadan was celebrated across Southeast Asia, as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of connected devices in the festivities. With the majority of people working from home, shopping, and ordering from home, consumption patterns on mobile have changed. As more Southeast Asian consumers go mobile-first with increasing smartphone penetration, mobile is becoming the go-to method for many to shop, order groceries and food, book travel, etc., to stay connected with families and follow Ramadan-related rituals. This trend continues to dominate Ramadan marketing in 2021 as well.

In our latest report, MAAS and Branch collaborated to analyze key mobile trends during Ramadan in Southeast Asia in 2019 vs 2020. If one were to look at user behavior during Ramadan festivities, it is observed that Ramadan 2020 across Southeast Asia was a quiet one compared to 2019. Social distancing norms kept people away from celebrating together as a community, and restrictions on travel kept people away from traveling between countries and cities to meet their families. This meant that many turned to the world of mobile to get a sense of belonging.

The importance of mobile to engage especially during Ramadan cannot be undermined, as it brings about new trends and habits that are likely to continue in 2021. With the vaccines coming out in record time, 2021 brings with itself a new opportunity for the world, and for apps and businesses. The habits we developed during 2020 with a tremendous increase in the usage of smartphones during the lockdown are likely to have its impact as the world slowly adjusts to what is being referred to as the “new normal.”

Download our latest report for marketers to understand the key trends shaping up in Ramadan 2021 in Southeast Asia against the backdrop of the global pandemic. We deep-dive into mapping user behavior trends across 2019-2020 and give key recommendations to run successful campaigns during this time.

And, don’t forget to sign up for our exclusive webinar with Branch to understand how brands from different verticals can use the Ramadan opportunity to create new and innovative campaigns to build their brand and drive conversions.

MAAS Diksha Sahni

Diksha Sahni

Diksha currently leads Communications & PR at Affle. With a passion for content marketing, she also takes the lead in crafting compelling narratives for the MAAS Platform. A journalist turned marketer, she has worked in the B2B and AdTech industries and writes on all things mobile on the MAAS Platform blog.

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