It’s a curious phenomenon; while many would imagine that the holy month of Ramadan would often render entrepreneurs tired and listless, the direct opposite seems to be true. In fact, a large proportion of Malaysian business owners actually see a tremendous surge of sales… at least when it comes to selling goods and services online.
“Electronics, home gadgets, and clothing apparels are among the most sought-after items by online shoppers as they prepare for Hari Raya”, quotes a spokesperson for 11street.my, one of Malaysia’s largest online shopping platform. And it makes perfect sense; where physical stores and outlets require a fair bit of driving, parking, and walking to purchase the items you want, online stores require a mere “click and drag”, all from the comfort of your home or office. Traffic jams and delayed public transportation also play a tremendous role in this phenomenon – most offices let their employees off an hour early during Ramadan creating a “double-whammy” effect on traffic jams.
The month of Ramadan can also turn online shopping platforms into a concentrated avenue for shoppers. According to a recent survey conducted by the Middle East’s largest e-commerce retailer, “a combination of reduced work hours and the general atmosphere of Ramadan lead consumers to spend more time online than usual.” As a result, shoppers become considerably more exposed to online promotions and deals than they otherwise would have on any other month. They are also more likely to make more purchases due to this abundance of visual advertising.
Timing too becomes considerably more streamlined for online advertisers – Malaysians tend to surf the web more during 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Ramadan compared to other months where web traffic generally occurs in random bursts. All of these factors aggregate to make Ramadan one of the most profitable times for online business, retailers, and entrepreneurs.