Retail promos best to start 2 weeks before Eid al-Fitr, while travel should push even after

While those in retail should start their marketing efforts two weeks before the Eid al-Fitr season, those in travel should continue beyond Eid al-Fitr to maximise their investment, said a recent study by Criteo. Looking at last year's data, the study revealed strong online sales in Malaysia and Indonesia in the lead up to and during Ramadan, which took place from 15 May to 14 June in 2018.

Online retail sales surged 10 days into Ramadan and lasted through the two weeks before Eid al-Fitr on 15 June. Notably, a 57% uplift in online retail sales was observed on 4 June.

Criteo's managing director, SEA-Pacific, Alban Villani said that marketers should should start reaching out to shoppers early with the relevant messaging two weeks earlier when shoppers are thinking of buying gifts for family and friends. To not miss out on shoppers who may purchase later, retailers should optimise their campaign efforts by continuing to engage consumers with special offers and personalised content throughout Ramadan.

Online travel sales, on the other hand, only started surging one week after Eid al-Fitr and lasted for two weeks, rising by up to 13%. Similarly, online traffic for travel sites in Malaysia and Indonesia saw the highest rise a week after Eid al-Fitr at 50%, despite a continuous increase during Ramadan.

“The Muslim travel market is currently estimated to be valued at US$180 billion but is set to reach US$300 billion by 2026. This growth is fuelled by Muslim millennials and the generation Z’s growing reliance on social media and the internet for travel bookings and research on attractions to visit. Brands need to ensure they are targeting this audience segment," added Villani.

Additionally, findings also indicated a preference towards the mobile platform amongst the consumers. Mobile web sales saw a bigger increase of up to 69% in Malaysia and Indonesia, compared to desktop sales at 53%. App sales increased by up to 41%.  For the study, Criteo analysed over 111 million retail shopping transactions, and over 40 million travel sales bookings across desktop, smartphones, and tablets from 107 major advertisers in Malaysia and Indonesia. Mobile sales include sales via mobile websites and apps, both on smartphones and tablets.

Earlier this month, AppsFlyer found that shopping apps saw 76% and 55% revenue growth in pre-Ramadan week respectively over the past two years, and saw a sharp drop in the metric in the following week. Meanwhile, travel as well as social and messaging apps displayed the strongest revenue growth rate. Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore all saw increases in average installs of apps in 2017 and 2018.