Align media budgets with shifts in shopper intent during Ramadan

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This article was first published by WARC and is taken from our whitepaper Getting Your Advertising Ramadan Ready.

A new report from TrafficGuard has found that total e-commerce web traffic doesn’t increase over the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but instead, is significantly loaded to the earlier weeks.

Of the 12-week period analysed, the highest e-commerce traffic peak was recorded in the third week of Ramadan. This could be a sign that e-commerce activity is driven by consumption that happens over Eid – in fact, the substantial drop in e-commerce traffic on the week of Eid further supports this theory.

With Ramadan due to begin in late April, businesses active in countries where Islam is the dominant religion are preparing for the seasonal shifts in behaviour of their target audience.

The observation stems from the Getting Your Advertising Ramadan Ready report, released by TrafficGuard and SimilarWeb, which explored changes in consumer behaviour across Muslim-majority markets in Southeast Asia and MENA.

Luke Taylor, COO and founder of TrafficGuard said that it is important to be taking changes in consumer behaviour into account – and start planning early to fully prepare for behavioural changes. He added –

Advertisers need to go beyond ‘seasonal greetings’, take the time to understand how their brands fit into the spirit of Ramadan and allocate budgets accordingly.

Other findings from the report:

Community & Lifestyle

As a time for reflection, self-improvement and family, engagement with websites in the lifestyle category – which would include content such as religious guides and blogs – surged by more than 10% during Ramadan, compared to the preceding four weeks. Two distinct peaks in traffic were evident at the start and then at week three of Ramadan as observers prepare for family gatherings and hosting friends during the holy month, and for Eid al-Fitr.

Social Networking apps saw the biggest increase in downloads compared to any other app category at 12% during Ramadan. The third week of Ramadan saw a significant spike in both downloads and app usage – perhaps corresponding to the coming together of communities ahead of Eid al-Fitr, or the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’, which marks the end of the season.

Food & Drink

According to the research, Food and Drink apps saw a 7% spike in downloads over the course of the holy month, with the average time users spend in-app increasing by up to 22% – likely in preparation for evening meals following the daily fast.

That said, while time spent in-app decreased post-Eid, the four weeks immediately following Ramadan saw an additional 21% growth in downloads in the Food and Drink app category. This enthusiasm was mirrored across web traffic, which also jumped by an impressive 34% in the same category.

Entertainment & Gaming

The Ramadan period does note initial, modest growth in Entertainment web traffic and app downloads. However, the real champion is the Gaming category – perhaps because of shorter working days and more free time, games see a respectable 4% growth in downloads during the four-week fast and a whopping 16% surge in web traffic.

This is followed by another sharp increase in the week of and following Eid – when Entertainment and Gaming apps experience a 28% and 13% uptick respectively.


From the first day of Ramadan to the traffic peak just after, daily website traffic to accommodation and air travel sites increases by over 50%. Meanwhile, the Local Travel app category experiences the greatest post-Eid jump in downloads, recording a whopping 34% spike.

For marketers, knowing how seasonal events such as Ramadan impact their target audience’s propensity to spend is crucial in aligning efforts with user shopping intent for the best advertising return.

“The moment, however, is fleeting. It is important to align your efforts to capitalise on the engagement peaks of your category to maximise advertising return on investment,” said Taylor.

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