To better understand the behaviours of people who observe Ramadan and who shop for this season, Facebook IQ, Facebook’s insights and research division, in partnership with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, has unveiled findings of a study conducted during Ramadan 2020, with over 17,000 respondents across eleven countries including Nigeria. Approximately 1,500 interviews were completed with samples that were representative of the adult online population across age, gender and region in each market. The research explored a range of areas, including people’s purchasing and media habits, the impact of COVID-19, the role of influencer content and how communities give back.
In its introductory statement, Facebook IQ highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people live, connect, shop and discover. It noted that this was more evident during Ramadan, a period of introspection and celebration for nearly two billion people. “During Ramadan, people want to come together, whether virtually or socially distanced, to share the joy with loved ones. Despite inevitable differences to recent years, expectations are that there will be an emergence of new discovery and shopping behaviours.”
The Facebook IQ research highlights the booming e-commerce industry, which is significantly driving the digital economy in Nigeria. The research pointed to six tips for Nigerian brands and businesses to effectively adapt and plan this Ramadan.
These include discovery of new ways to support businesses. The research explained that the theme of giving back is deeply rooted in Ramadan. “People are increasingly giving back with time and money, and this extends to local businesses too. 90% agree that brands should find ways of giving back during Ramadan. As people personally contribute to their communities, they increasingly expect the same of businesses. They want brands to express their values, speak authentically and stand up for causes they care about. In fact, the research also shows that 77% of survey respondents in Nigeria became more interested in a brand after learning about their business practices. That is why brands must raise awareness of their support for local businesses and the community during the pandemic in a clear and simple way.”
Businesses are also looking at discovering mobile audiences. It explains that during Ramadan, people look to technology, especially mobile, to stay up-to-date and connect with family and friends. “They also use mobile to shop and stay entertained. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile has become the constant companion driving additional time spent on the small screen. The research shows that 52% of survey respondents in Nigeria spend more time using their mobile during the season. This means that more people are now using mobile across discovery, research and purchase compared to going in store. Knowing this, brands must leverage the rise in mobile entertainment and resources to reach the right audience where they are adapting to how and where they like to discover new things.”
Others include discovery of partnerships. Here, the research notes that creators offer a new source of credibility. “Amongst the Ramadan observing and shopping community surveyed in Nigeria, 58% agreed that public figures and celebrities influence their purchasing decisions. They look to public figures for self-improvement content as well as deals, especially when it comes to discovering and purchasing new products and services. Brands must therefore engage with partners and creators to help reach new audiences in an authentic way and should explore collaborating with creators who can inspire, generate deals and announce trends.”
The Facebook IQ research further listed other discoveries that will move businesses during the period.
● Discover new demand: The demand from shoppers to browse and shop safely online is greater than ever as they spend less time shopping in physical stores. According to the research, 67% of survey respondents in Nigeria spent more time shopping online during the Ramadan and Eid season because of COVID-19. On average, shoppers in Nigeria are 3x more likely to feel safer using mobile to shop, compared to in store. This year, brands must understand their audience’s needs and safety concerns when shopping online and on mobile, offering cross-border shoppers a frictionless experience throughout the entire purchase journey, both safely and conveniently.
● Discover new opportunities: Ramadan is one of the biggest shopping moments of the year, yet most advertisers switch off spending during this time, based on the misapprehension that most people finish their Ramadan shopping early. People, however, are continually preparing their homes, meals and gifts for loved ones and are looking out for the best deals before and during the season. While 28% of the respondents in Nigeria started planning by March last year, about a month before celebrations started, only 18% had completed their shopping when Ramadan actually started. The research also indicates that the periods just before Ramadan and Eid are the biggest shopping periods. Brands must plan ahead to stay relevant and prepared for these shopping peaks, reminding people of what they love by tapping into their preferences.
● Discover bargain hunters: As the impact of COVID-19 is felt locally, shoppers are increasingly price-sensitive and look to Facebook for deals and inspiration. 68% of the respondents in Nigeria look to discover more bargains during Ramadan and Eid. This price sensitivity applies to essentials like food and beverages, as well as to clothing and gift items, making mega sales all the more important during Ramadan. The research also indicates that in Nigeria, 67% of the respondents said they use Facebook platforms for inspiration, research and to discover new shopping ideas.
Facebook encouraged the public to take a closer look at the FBIQ Ramadan Interactive Report explore, compare and filter the findings to inform their Ramadan planning, understand audience expectations and forge more meaningful connections.
“Through Facebook’s partnership with Getty Images, brands and marketers can also access the Yalla Ramadan stock image library to adapt their Ramadan campaigns and find visual inspiration,” it announced.