The holy month of Ramadan is a time of reflection and introspection for almost two billion Muslims globally, who observe it by fasting, praying, spending time with family and friends, connecting to their roots, going on an inward spiritual journey and cleansing their minds and bodies. It is also a time where retailers and brands try to connect with their customers beyond just pushing their products, and align with the sentiments of the customers in the spirit of Ramadan. Like most seasons and celebrations, Ramadan also presents a huge marketing opportunity for businesses especially in the Middle East, as conversions rates, purchase and consumption, and overall spend per customer and household increases drastically as the practice of gifting and sharing is common during the month.
A recent report by Facebook IQ, Meta’s insights and research division, in partnership with YouGov, revealed that 64% of shoppers across the UAE get excited about trying new brands and products from abroad with 55% of shoppers more likely to purchase from abroad during Ramadan and Eid influenced by adverts about these key moments.
Consumers during Ramadan are spending more on cross-border purchases than they did in previous years. And research shows that they are shopping across a range of different categories. For instance, UAE consumers are most likely to get products shipped from abroad from retail brands (67%), Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) category (46%), followed by technology/telecom brands (28%) and entertainment brands (25%) and travel (12%).
Another report by AdColony and GlobalWebIndex indicated that 45% of users in the UAE will visit stores for their Ramadan grocery shopping, while 46% of them will shop online and use home delivery; 47% of the users in the UAE are waiting for Ramadan promotions to purchase a car; and there is likely to be a surge in cosmetic purchases by women with 42% buying perfumes and fragrances, and 35% spending on skin care and hair care.
Ideally, this month can be split up into three phases – the lead up to Ramadan, during Ramadan, and the lead up to Eid – where consumer behaviour and shopping habits are going to change. With shorter working hours and time spent indoors during the day and a faster pace of life after iftar, there is a unique opportunity for brands and retailers to reach their customers online and physically.
Now, retailers need to be more creative, beyond just discounts and promotions, to truly understand the consumers and cater to their needs, balance surges in demand with timely supply, ensure smooth front-end and back-end operations and be able to respond quickly to provide a truly seamless customer experience while sharing the spirit of Ramadan.
Below is a round-up of what some of the retailers from this region are doing to attract customers during the month:
Hypermarket chain Carrefour owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE has revealed it will be doubling customer’s savings through several initiatives during the holy month of Ramadan. The brand is promising up to 50 percent discounts on more than 10,000 items throughout the month. New promotions will be launched every week to cater to the diverse consumer demands across multiple categories, extra stock will help to guarantee uninterrupted supply flow and 24-hour shopping experiences in selected stores. The campaign extends over 6 weeks and will see many promotions covering bulk deals, discounts on Carrefour’s private-label, and exclusive giveaways from international brands.
Apparel Group’s e-commerce platform 6thStreet.com has officially launched its Ramadan 2022 collection in collaboration with influencer Dr. Kholoud (@dr_kholodiii). The campaign highlights Dr. Kholoud’s signature modest style and her strong family values to capture the essence of the holy month. The Ramadan collection features embellished shoes & bags from Dune London, Aldo, Charles & Keith; easy-going kaftans & abayas and range of dawn-to-dusk looks from Beverly Hills Polo Club, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein along with exclusive launches of Joud Asfari’s signature scent “Joud” and Amal Ibrahim’s home fragrances Apache Tears & Calcite Diffusers.
Union Coop, the largest consumer cooperative in the UAE, announced that it has allocated about AED 185 million to reduce the prices of more than 30,000 basic food and consumer goods. The campaign will be available in all branches and commercial centers belonging to the cooperative from March 13 to May 3, 2022 with different and distinct offers and discounts, as well as selling a large number of products to be sold at wholesale prices. The cooperative will provide the delivery feature for purchases and orders made through its Smart Online Store (App) and the web store.
The Sharjah Coop has announced a new promotion sale named ‘Ramadanak Wayana’ during the holy month of Ramadan. Under the offer the retailer offers 90% discount on 20,000 basic consumer products. The largest consumer cooperative in the emirate has announced this offer to reduce the financial burdens on citizens and expats during the holy month. Special offers will start one week before the holy month.
UAE retail chain Lulu Group, launched its new campaign of charity activities and promotion with discounts of up to 50 per cent on more than 15,000 products. Lulu Group and Make-A-Wish Foundation inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a drive to support critically ill children and give them hope, strength and joy. The multi-dimensional campaign can be availed by both offline and online shoppers. There will be several targeted promotions with various themes such as: Dates Festival, Healthy Ramadan with focus on organic, vegan, sugar-free; Fruits and Meat Fest; iftaar boxes, among others. Ramadan Kit – boxes of essential grocery items in two sizes will be available for Dh99 and Dh149.
Dubai-based e-commerce site noon.com has announced that its Ramadan sale will be live until April 29, with up to 70 per cent off all categories. Customers can enjoy 12-hour Night Market Flash Sales every evening, as well as daily price drops on Ramadan kitchen essentials with up to 75 percent off. Noon East appliances will be reduced by 50 per cent, while up to 50 per cent discount is available on makeup and fragrance brands. As much as 60 per cent of prices have been slashed on skincare brands. Discounts are also available on electronics brands such as Apple, with iPhone 12 deals for as low as Dhs3,050 and Sony PlayStation 5 at just Dhs2,699. Customers with a Mashreq Bank card will receive 25 per cent off up to Dhs100 on all orders with a minimum value of Dhs200 until April 29. Visa cardholders will receive 15 percent off orders under Dhs75, with a minimum spend of Dhs200 between April 27-29.
Al-Futtaim ACE is hosting a Ramadan Souk to showcase its newest collection for the Holy Month, complemented by bright visuals and exciting in-store experiences. Emulating local souks, ACE aims to make this Ramadan special with a range of products at affordable prices through the ‘Souk of Savings’ this season and hosting several in-store and online activations inspired by Ramadan traditions. Customers can shop from a curated range of around 2000 handpicked products & more on its website along with exclusive offers through the Blue Rewards loyalty program.
Home Centre is welcoming the Holy Month of Ramadan with an all-new campaign ‘Our Homes are as big as Our Hearts” that celebrates abundance. Home Centre’s Ramadan campaign reflects the value of Barakat, (meaning abundance) and how it is the most important part of the Holy month – highlighted through the abundance in blessings, happiness, prosperity and more!. This Ramadan season, Home Centre has joined hands again with the global home style maven, Farah Merhi, the Lebanese – American designer to introduce the fabulous furniture collection, Festive Glam. The new furniture collection complements her stylish home décor collection ‘Inspire Me! Home Décor. Farah’s comfortable yet glamorous styles are encapsulated in the collection that sets the perfect tone for an elegant home during the Ramadan and Eid celebrations.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel is encouraging a modern take on the tradition with its stunning collection of home décor and furniture. From exquisite lanterns, Turkish tea cups, kitchenware essentials, mixing bowls to sauce-pans, pasta makers and elegant works of art, Crate and Barrel has promised a themed collection perfect for hosting loved ones for Iftar and Suhoors. The brand has also partnered with local designers, florists and chefs to ensure that customers can celebrate Ramadan in style. Customers can find ramakins, rolling pins, baking dishes, cupcake pans, oven mitts and many more curated items available in-store and online.
Kibsons, the online home delivery service that makes healthy eating a reality for thousands of households across the UAE, are thrilled to give back and share a Ramadan gift to their customers in the form of a 20% discount on all deliveries of selected ranges of fruits, vegetables, and meats, and we also our amazing participating brands, between 26th March – 9th April. In addition, Kibsons have launched its crescent shaped trees and a range of affordable Ramadan decorations to help families feel the true spirit of the holy month.
Chalhoub Group hosted ‘The Showcase,’ a multi-brand fashion show bringing together the fashion community to celebrate and support local and regional designers from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at the Lebanon Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2020. During the event, they revealed its new CSR retail campaign leading up to Ramadan, ‘Creating Impact, with Love.’ a sustainable tote bag designed in collaboration with international artist, James Goldcrown. All proceeds of the tote bags will go towards Dubai Cares program “ReWired Global Declaration of Connectivity for Education.
Sharaf DG has reduced prices of kitchen appliances, home decor, watches, baby care items and video game consoles by 75 per cent on its website.Those looking to purchase new appliances can take their pick from various air fryers, toasters, sandwich makers, grillers and ovens. The electronics retailer is also offering reductions on smartphones, such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max (256GB), priced at Dh5,119 is now about Dh4,860. There are also discounts on laptops, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Lenovo ThinkBook, HP Notebooks, Microsoft Surface, Dell Inspiron and more. Offers are valid until April 10.
Marks & Spencer:
Marks & Spencer, operated by Al-Futtaim Group announced the launch of its Ramadan Collection, a cohesive range of timeless modest styles that are tailored to suit the occasion, embodying everyday effortless style with opulence and elegance. The versatility of the collection is championed through an array of easy styles and bold sweeping silhouettes that easily transition from day to evening, with signature pieces that are suitable for all occasions, from Iftar to Suhoor and beyond, designed with the Middle Eastern woman in mind.
Titan Watches has announced a sequel collection – Crescent 2.0, a special edition collection, inspired by the Holy Month and inspired by the form and feature of the moon. Another feature of these watches are that the phases of the moon are highlighted in the dial which in-turn are further accentuated by the aesthetically pleasing textured metal etching reminiscent of the moon surface. Prices start at a reasonable AED 425 and the watches are now available at Titan retail outlets across UAE, select Hour Choice stores, leading department stores, online marketplaces, and authorized retailers. The watch will also be available AT Titan Watch kiosks and stores across the GCC in Oman, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
Dune London’s Ramadan Collection for 2022 is a beautifully curated capsule collection of timeless footwear and accessories, designed for Holy Month and beyond. Elegant and feminine silhouettes are dressed in luxurious textures, exclusively sourced materials and sumptuous satin fabrics for a truly special, one-of-a-kind collection. Eye-catching embellishment and intricate trims carefully sourced by Dune London’s in-house designers continue to deliver that something special.. Lending itself to a truly joyous occasion to be celebrated in style, Dune London’s captivating and exclusive Ramadan footwear and accessory collection exudes elegance and effortless, everyday glamour.
Modest fashion is one of the fastest-growing industries globally. The new generation of young, style-savvy women, are currently lacking choice in the market for on-trend styles that align with their values. The fashion industry has been facing challenges in the past few years in creating authentic modest fashion that is on-trend, accessible and in a premium quality. Globally we see a shift in retailers adapting to new consumer priorities and demands where diverse product ranges are key to providing a nexus of retail growth. Saudi Arabia’s modern fashion house, Leem, launched its Ramadan Capsule Collection across its stores in KSA, UAE, and Bahrain as well as on the Leem app, available for download in KSA. For the Holy Month, Leem continues to celebrate the creativity and diversity of modest dressing with a carefully curated collection that merges beautifully authentic Middle Eastern styles with modern cuts and dramatic silhouettes. Another bold trend introduced this season is the feminine twist on the masculine Arabian Bisht, a traditional men’s cloak popular in the Arab region, seen on silk kaftans in camel and white colours with unique gold detailing and flawless cuts. Leem continues to expand brick and mortar steadily across the Middle East with seven store locations, and an app for its KSA customers. The Ramadan 2022 collection will be available across all Leem stores in KSA, UAE, and Bahrain and on the Leem app from the 9th of March 2022.
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