Data from online shopping habits during the Ramadan period reveal the savviness and discerning tastes of shoppers.
Online and offline were very distinct concepts back in the 1990s. However, with today’s rising tide of eCommerce, more intensely, spurred by mobile eCommerce, the distinctions have become blurred. In truth, about 10 years ago, eCommerce was an avenue for specialty retailers with tech know-hows, but that point of view has now changed. Every major brand now wants a slice of the eCommerce pie as the popularity of brick-and-mortar stores wanes.
What if the eCommerce platform allowed brands to connect with potential customers and express their brand in a more convincing and engaging manner? Next, allow the eCommerce platform to position itself across six countries in Southeast Asia, and what would you have? The result would be Lazada, an eCommerce juggernaut recognised as Southeast Asia’s online shopping destination, which currently hosts more than 2,500 local and international brands, 80,000 local and international sellers with 80 million products spanning 18 categories. Lazada is also working to empower brands to reach consumers for brand-building performance and to provide consumer education.
Truth be told, one of the reasons for Lazada’s success is its heavy investment in business intelligence, allowing it to mine and analyse data based on the shopping habits of its consumers. Its recent statistical revelations of online shopping in Malaysia and Indonesia, particularly in the month of Ramadan 2016, paints an interesting profile of the Muslim demographic. In fact, for any eCommerce business, analysing shopping data during festivities is the best way to understand the mindsets of consumers.
The need to analyse data has become more pertinent in the digital economy. According to a 2016 MIT Sloan research, any company that adapts to the digital world are 26% more profitable than their industry peers. The need for business intelligence is heighten by the increasing savviness and fickle-mindedness of customers. In the digital economy, it is paramount for businesses to satisfy digitally empowered customers in order to meet service expectations. It is also critical for brands to better engage with their customers on many levels. while grappling the dynamic shifts in the fast-paced eCommerce industry. Here’s a peek into how they tick, based on data from Ramadan 6 June to 5 July 2016.
The adage “the early bird catches the worm” holds true, validated by data that shows shoppers know how to make the best of their time in the wee hours of the morning. During Ramadan, the period from 4 to 6am, is a crucial time for Muslims to have their meal before the sun rises. While their non-Muslim friends sleep, these savvy Muslim shoppers woke up at 4am to prepare for prayers and meals, alongside they seized the opportunity to transact purchases on Lazada. In fact, it was revealed that 70% and 90% of all orders came through smartphones during this period, for Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively. It should come as no surprise as smartphones are human’s current digital appendages. In fact, a 14 June 2017 CNET article revealed that “a record high of 57% of video plays worldwide in the first quarter of 2017 were on smartphones”, so shopping on your smartphone should follow naturally. The early morning shopping trend is also indicative of these Muslim shoppers’ smart time management.
More data revealed that lunch time was another popular period. The time from 12noon to 2pm witnessed an online shopping boost. They surfed, searched, picked and tallied the till to their heart’s content, and it inevitably churned out an order tally of 1.5 times and 1.4 times more than non-Ramadan months, for Malaysia and Indonesia respectively.
The must-have items came from categories such as “Muslim wear”, home décor, snacks, home appliances for making goodies, hampers, and health and beauty products. But a more interesting revelation was these shoppers’ tech affinity for snazzy, big-ticket gadgets. In fact, Malaysians penchant for Canon 5D Mark III digital, while Indonesians carted off with behemoth screens – LG’s 79-inch LED TVs – are tellingly clear that these shoppers are a discerning lot when it comes to technology desires. With the prevalence and affordability of smartphones across Asia, buoyed by Lazada’s easy-to-use app, one can expect that the next Ramadan’s data will paint more positive, if not, exponential numbers. Indubitably, any business serious in eCommerce will need to invest in time, effort and manpower to analyse data in order to better understand customers who are increasingly spending more time shopping online.