During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims forgo eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and instead throw themselves into living a more reclusive life during the day, to make it through the hot, summer days without water. As much of a pious month, this is for Muslims around the world, the ones who suffer are business owners- employees are generally more tired and suffer a decrease in productivity while consumers are less inclined to visit stores during the day and instead spend more time online.

So how can you use this information to increase your sales during Ramadan

  1. Focus on your Online Store

Online sales surge during this month, as can be seen by the 106% increase in online sales last year by the second week of Ramadan. In the past, businesses saw a surge in their physical stores after sunset however nowadays, an increasing number of consumers are choosing to shop online instead.

The traditional gifting during Eid-al-Fitr greatly affects the consumption patterns during Ramadan, with an increase in online conversions of 31% a week before Eid.

This means that if you don’t currently have an online presence, you’re losing out on a significant number of sales. Setting up an online store doesn’t even have to be anything complicated. Instagram is an extremely popular platform in the Middle East, which means that having an online presence can just be as simple as setting up an Instagram account.

You could also make it as convenient as possible to consumers for greater conversions by offering them a choice to pay online as well. goCollect! by Tap, was designed to make this easy for offline entrepreneurs.

You no longer need to create a website and integrate a payment gateway to accept payments online. It’s now just a matter of downloading the app, setting up an account, and sending bills across the world! You can even add a Ramadan discount within the bill so that your customers know that they are getting the best deal.

2. Optimize your website for mobile use

The MENA region, with around 312 million mobile subscriptions, has one of the highest mobile penetrations in the world and people spend a lot more time on their mobile phones during Ramadan than anytime else.

If at all you have a website, this means you should ensure that your website is fast and optimized to be mobile friendly as well.

According to a report from Google, 53% of users abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

If you’d like to test the speed of your website on web and mobile, you can do so yourself at https://website.grader.com. Just type in the URL to your website, and read an entire report on the performance, security and SEO optimizations of the website.

3. Ramadan-focused promotions

As with any festivities, lean into the Ramadan theme. Ensure that you promote the apparel, food, and drinks that are most commonly bought in Ramadan. You know what people tend to buy the most during Ramadan, make sure you highlight the fact that you have it.

A business doing this well is the Kuwaiti restaurant, Dar Hamad, who changed their menu on Carriage to focus on their Ramadan special boxes. They understood that during Ramadan, people are just looking for pre-decided meals for either Iftar or Suhoor and they focused only on that.

Namshi, the regional e-commerce fashion platform, is also another inspiration to look at for Ramadan specific promotions. Considering that mobile usage shifts drastically from day time to late nights during Ramadan, their 'Suhoor surprises' promotion is a stroke of genius.

Essentially, this campaign was spread over 8 days and highlighted a special promotion every 24 hours. This could be 40% off apparel one day and 40% off footwear another day. No one knows what surprise will be available the next day, and instead, you have a flashing timer counting down reminding you that this current promotion will end in 12 hours, 10 hours, 4 hours and so on...

4. Targeted marketing

Finally, ensure that you engage with your customers early with special offers, personalized content, and ideas for gifts. By establishing and maintaining connections with the users early on, they'll be more likely to think of your brand when it comes to buying gifts for Eid.

If your business invests in paid digital marketing or is looking to- there are some very specific audiences they could target for maximum impressions or conversions.

According to a report by Google, youtube watch time increases by 40% during Ramadan.

Consumers tend to look for videos of food recipes, as well as binge-watch Mosalsalat (regional series and programs). They tend to prefer watching it on Youtube due to the convenience and flexibility of the platform and continue watching it up to two weeks after Ramadan.

When focusing on Google searches, consumers tend to explore more about food, series & programs, and travel destinations. Since the world cup, last year was during Ramadan, there was also a spike in users searching for sports however that may not be as high this year.

This means that if you run a restaurant, ensure that you target your paid ads to audiences searching for recipes online and restaurants for iftar. If you own a business that has products or services which would be perfect for gifting during Eid, you can always target your ads to audiences watching Mosalsalat as well.

There is a lot of opportunities here to get your brand name across if you target your ads properly. Ensuring that you do this early on will also ensure that your CPC (cost per clicks) remains low compared to during Eid when paid marketing is generally more popular.

Are their any Ramadan tips or marketing campaigns that you know to be effective? What are your favorite Ramadan ads? Tell us about it. We'd love to know!