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Marketing for Ramadan 2020 (Malaysia & Indonesia)
marketing Tue, Apr 28, 2020
Repro APAC Written by Repro APAC

Marketing for Ramadan 2020 (Malaysia & Indonesia)

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An unusual Ramadan

This year's Ramanda is an unusual one. With the widespread COVID-19, the festive season has been interrupted, and gathering has been halted. With Malaysia and Indonesia having different COVID-19 rules, this gave marketers a new challenge. They now have to come out with marketing campaigns that do not break the COVID-19 rules while allowing their customers to experience the festive season still.

What is Ramadan

For Muslims, Ramadan is the 9th month, and also the most sacred month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Ramadan is to commemorate that Allah, or God, gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. During this month, Muslims fast for a single month from dawn to dust, and the intake of tobacco, water, and sexual activities are forbidden. The purpose of fasting is to bring oneself closer to God and remind them who are less fortunate. Fasting is also an exercise of self-restraint and used as a means of physical and spiritual detoxification. For some people, such as the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant or menstruating are exempted from fasting.

The usual online trend for Ramadan

Based on the data released by criteo, they noticed five changes in online behavior among consumers during the month of Ramadan. 

Sales & traffic rise before, during and after Ramadan

ramadan online shopping trend

Based on the data, even before Ramadan starts, visitors and sales of online shopping sites see a significant improvement. This behavior persists even after Ramadan has ended. 

The second half of Ramadan has a higher conversion rate

Sales in the 3rd week of Ramadan has been found to be highest during the Ramadan season. Criteo has reported an increase of 50% when compared to baseline.

1. Sales are higher after sundown

ramadan statistic

Data has also shown that shopping behavior usually starts after sundown. However, the activities usually take a dip first before that happens. This is because the first thing after sundown is to for them to break fasting instead of shopping.  

2. Travel website receive a spike after Ramadan

Before the COVID-19 incident, travel websites usually get a spike in website traffic during the Ramadan period. However, it has been found that this traffic usually does not convert into booking until nearing the end of or after Ramadan. However, for this year, we might see a different trend due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia. We are expecting lower traffic and less conversion compared to last year, but nevertheless a spike in traffic is expected. 

3. Mobile is strong 

Mobile is reported to strong during this period. Perhaps something unsurprising as Ramadan is a family holiday where people are away from their desktop and spend more than with their family. 

Marketing Strategies for Ramadan

With the COVID-19 still around and lockdown in place, this year's Ramadan theme will be more centered on online sharing. Because of this, we highly suggest marketers to turn their focus on their website and Apps.

1. Turn Offline Campaign Online

With the ongoing lockdown going on in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is imperative to channel the usual offline marketing campaign to an online campaign. This is especially true for those for businesses that are affected, especially due to the MCO in Malaysia. This could be done by including a QR code of your website to the flyers you usually distribute, providing better discounts online, having exclusive online sales, or creating a special landing page for offline visitors. 


TBM drive through

Source: TBM Malaysia 

TBM, a store in Malaysia that sells electronics, did an exceptional job in allowing customers to purchase their goods online by emphasizing their online store. In addition, they also offered extra services such as phone order, Pic-Up service via a drive-through.

2. Campaigns centered around Ramadan needs

Despite being the same Ramadan celebrated in Malaysia and Indonesia, the behavior of consumers still differs slightly. For example, we see more Malaysian searching for more food-related queries on Ramadan, such as buffet and bazaar, while Indonesia focuses more on greeting messages and celebration. That said, both Malaysian and Indonesian search also involves a focus on creating the right atmosphere for the festive season based on research results such as Ramadan Quotes and Cards. 

Because of this search trend, your online marketing campaign can involve providing a unique and random Ramadan greeting card for every order made or a green envelope for Malaysian customers. 


Green Packet Ramadan

Source: Subway Malaysia 2018 Ramadan Campaign


Subway brought the idea of sending out a free green packet into another level by inserting free buffet vouchers into their green packet, promoting the idea of sharing while fulfilling the Ramadan needs.

3. Campaign on breaking fast

During Ramadan, nothing is more looked forward to than the time of breaking fast. Because of this, marketers can schedule campaigns around this moment, giving customers something to look forward to.


Ramadan Breaking Fast PromotionSource: Sime Darby

This Malaysia conglomerate had a time-specific break fasting campaign to entice visitors to break fasting together. With the COVID-19 situation, these promotions have transformed from dine-in to takeaway or delivery. Although restaurants usually do this, other companies can also create specific promotions or special pop-ups at their website, congratulating them for fasting.

4. Campaigns focus on online sharing

Due to the MCO in Malaysia, the chances are, people might not be able to return home to see their loves on. Because of this, businesses should focus more on promoting gifts for their loved ones.


ramadan gift

This can by promoting products that are well-wrapped or phrasing your campaign in a way that reminds your customers of their family. 


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