Ramadan is heavily identified with shopping in Indonesia. A visit to malls during this month will reveal heavy discounts and promotions at every store. Midnight sales are especially abundant and held after people receive holiday bonuses to lure people to shop more.

The rise of e-retail options in the country has only made it easier for people to do their shopping whenever and wherever they are. Indonesia also passed the Halal Product Certification Bill in September 2014 that requires all products be halal-certified by 2019. Brands like Unilever and L’Oreal Indonesia have already begun to comply.

A case study conducted during Ramadan a few years ago shows that traffic to ecommerce websites peak at 4am as people woke up earlier during Ramadan to start their day.

What other behaviors are observed during Ramadan? aCommerce shares data from 11 ecommerce companies selling fashion and beauty products to understand shopper trends during Ramadan last year.  

More people are online during Ramadan

To seize the building momentum, ecommerce companies allocate more budget for marketing activities to drive traffic to their website. Below is an example:

Ramadan Shopping Behavior

Example of promotional banner on the website for Ramadan 2016

Ramadan Shopping Behavior

Promotional banner for Ramadan 2016 on Facebook

Results from last year show there was a 52% increase of website visitors and 60% newly acquired users during the month of Ramadan compared to the previous month. Many companies often offer exclusive promotions only if a user signs up on the website.

Ramadan Shopping Behavior

People are more likely to shop online in Ramadan compared to the months before and after.

Indonesians shop for Eid during work

Compared to the 40 days before Ramadan, the number of sessions on most websites surged to 4 times higher on the weekdays as people browsed during the day – traffic was noticeably higher during work hours.

Ramadan Shopping BehaviorMeanwhile, sessions on weekends are relatively the same overall as Indonesians typically spend more time with friends and family.

During the last week of Ramadan, the traffic surges begin to slow down as Indonesians know some merchants will undergo a “blackout period” where no packages are delivered around the time of Eid in preparation for Eid Exodus.

More men shop online than women

Ramadan Shopping Behavior

Contrary to popular belief, men were found to spend a longer time browsing online than women. However, females were almost twice as likely than men to convert during a web session.

Both sexes have a similar basket size of IDR 230,000 or $17 per transaction.

On average, the amount of time people spent per session  was 3% lower than average to 4.4 minutes and traffic and sales from desktop still dominated over mobile.

Desktop generated 76% of total sales on Ramadan, while mobile only generated 22.3%.

As we’re currently in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan, ecommerce companies should be aware of shopping trends to maximize their marketing budgets and add more value to their shoppers to build customer loyalty.  

For example, promotion activities should be scheduled during the weekdays when shoppers are proven to be at their most active and more focus should be spent on capturing a wider male audience as current online options are still not as abundant.  

Happy Eid shopping!

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2016 has been somewhat of a definitive year for ecommerce in Southeast Asia. With the region poised to experience an ecommerce golden age, trends and predictions that will shape ecommerce in 2017 have been identified and there is no denying that the year will most likely bring significant milestones to the region’s development.

2016 certainly set things in motion: acquisitions, closures and entries were this year’s key themes. As the year draws to a close, we present the top 5 stories and briefs covered on eIQ that have made an impact on the development of ecommerce in Southeast Asia.

1. Battle of the giants

The first foray in a series of moves that would eventually complete Jack Ma’s trojan horse for Southeast Asia. In April, Alibaba made a $1 billion acquisition of Rocket Internet’s Lazada, effectively injecting much needed investment into the cash strapped marketplace, and hereby making an effective entry into the region.

This was followed by an announcement in November that Alibaba’s Ant Financial has invested in Thailand’s Ascend Money.

Amazon finally announced its entry into Singapore Q1 of 2017. Although a much covered angle in the media, these three stories have defined the majority of Southeast Asia ecommerce in 2016.


2. Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Singapore’s Garena & Grab are unicorns

After raising $550 million, Go-Jek is now valued at $1.3 billion, claiming unicorn status.

Singapore’s Garena has also maintained its status as Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup with additional funding that came through in September.

Grab also raised $600 million in funding making it another unicorn in the region.


3. Google and Temasek’s e-conomy SEA 2016 report

Arguably the most referenced report this year. Google and Temasek’s analysis of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce landscape has appeared in a string of interviews as references for research arguments and have shined a spotlight into the region’s developing landscape. Access the full report on eIQ’s reports section here.


4. LINE debuted as 2016’s largest technology IPO

The dual listing in New York and Japan occurred in July this year. The Japanese messaging app spiked 30% in market debut after opening at $42 per share in what appears to be the biggest tech IPO of this year.

The company is owned by Naver, a South Korean Internet company, who offered 22 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 13 million on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

But it hasn’t been all good news for Cony & Brown as news came out in October that the messaging app is struggling to acquire new users, barely moving beyond its 220 million monthly active user base.


5.  Goodbyes: Ensogo, Rakuten & Foodpanda

In June, Ensogo announced the closureof all business units in Southeast Asia. Following its shift from a daily deals website in 2013 to a mobile marketplace in 2015, the company was struggling to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

Rakuten also announced the closing of its Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia marketplaces in February and sold back Rakuten Thailand to original founder, Pawoot Pongvitayapanu. The company did not give a reason for the closures, but announced that the moves are in line with a new roadmap.

In December, Rocket Internet declared that it was selling online food delivery startup Foodpanda to rival, Delivery Hero for $150 million. This announcement came after a string of rumors regarding the service provider’s performance.

The series of chain reactions that occurred have shaped Southeast Asia’s potential ecommerce boom. If these developments were anything to go by, we should be seeing all the puzzle pieces being placed together within 2017. For now, it’s a wrap for 2016!