DUBAI: Shopping trends in Saudi Arabia and the UAE during Ramadan have been revealed in a new study by Meta in partnership was data analytics firm YouGov.
The holy month is a time for community, charity, kindness and shopping across the region. Kindness stood out the most across Meta’s platforms, with more than 7.8 million interactions containing the word “kindness” taking place on Facebook on the final day of Ramadan last year.
On Instagram, there were more than 13.4 million interactions mentioning togetherness, connection and community during the month.
Additionally, more than 90 percent of shoppers in both the Kingdom and the UAE said that they like to see content that promotes community and togetherness across both Facebook and Instagram during Ramadan and Eid.
Ramadan is also a time for charity, and this was evident with more than 80 percent of shoppers in both countries saying they took part in charitable activities during Ramadan and Eid.
Based on these findings, Meta advised marketers to focus on three tips this Ramadan: Connecting through brand storytelling, personalizing connection with Discovery Commerce and strengthening connections with business messaging.
Brand storytelling tools such as Reels, in-stream video and branded content provides immersive experiences that help brands connect with audiences. In Saudi Arabia, 57 and 58 percent of people, respectively, said that they felt more connected to a brand after seeing Ramadan or Eid content on Facebook or Instagram.
Content creators also play a crucial role in inspiring audiences, Meta said, with 55 percent in Saudi and 58 percent in the UAE saying that they are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trustworthy creator.
As shoppers browse more during the holy month, they are looking for personalized recommendations to help them refine their search and purchase journey. 60 percent of shoppers in Saudi Arabia and 71 percent in the UAE agreed that it is easier to complete Ramadan shopping with personalized product and gift suggestions.
While shoppers appreciate good storytelling and personalization, conversation is key. Instant messaging, for example, serves as a useful tool to help shoppers feel like a brand is more accessible, with 65 percent in Saudi Arabia and 67 percent in the UAE feeling more connected to a brand through instant messaging during Ramadan and Eid.
“As a seasonal moment, the focus on unity and kinship during Ramadan is unmatched,” said Fares Akkad, Meta regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“For marketers, this creates an opportunity to connect with audiences through positive, emotionally rich messaging.”
The Middle East-wide survey, which covered 12 countries, was conducted during Ramadan 2022.