What Indonesians Buy Online to Celebrate Ramadan

Benedict Leong

Update 14th Jan 2020: Indonesia will be revising its de minimis value down to US$3 from an earlier US$ 75 on the 30th January 2020 as confirmed by Indonesia’s Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Finance1 You can find more details about how this could affect your shipments, at our latest announcement

 

The Ramadan month is a sacred time for Muslims. During this 30-day period, they adjust their schedules to include more time for prayers, fasting and doing charitable deeds. During this period, many Indonesians also start preparing their homes and families for the upcoming Hari Raya Idul Fitri celebrations by shopping for a variety of goods.

To help Indonesians celebrate their Ramadan months, Indonesian Muslims will receive their annual bonus at least 7 days before the Hari Raya celebrations. In Indonesia, this is known as ‘Tunjangan Hari Raya’ (THR). This boost in income also leads to increases in expenditure which is not unlike year end spending on bonuses in other countries.

Indonesians are quite tech-savvy, with around half of all Indonesian internet users being active online shoppers. In an earlier post on Indonesia, we discussed that Indonesia’s eCommerce gross market value (GMV) stands at US$ 21 billion according to Google and Temasek and is expected to hit US$ 82 billion by 2025.

According to Deloitte2, Indonesians primarily buy online for the convenience that online product deliveries offer, a good variety of products they can choose from as well as reasonable prices and deals.

Ramadan is a great time for promotions and discounts, and with many Indonesians receiving their annual bonus, it comes as no surprise that Ramadan sees a spike in eCommerce purchases. According to Criteo3, Ramadan 2017 saw a high sales uplift of 80% in Indonesia compared to the previous month, numbers that Shopback’s research supports in the graph below.

So what would these arrangements mean for eCommerce sales? What kind of products do Indonesians usually buy online during the Ramadan period?

Infographic showing how online shopping increases during Ramadan in Indonesia and the most popular product categories during Indonesia's Ramdan
Source: Shopback

Fashion

Families and friends use the Ramadan period and Hari Raya celebrations to meet up and visit one another. Wanting to leave a good impression, many Indonesians choose to invest in their looks and go shopping for new clothes. They don’t just buy clothes for themselves, but for relatives, friends and others too.

eCommerceIQ4 found out through their Ramadan Shopper Survey in 2018 that Indonesians spend on average IDR 1 million to 5 million on fashion items during Ramadan per order. Tokopedia5 reports a growth of 30% from the clothing category for a two-month period leading up to the Hari Raya celebrations. According to a Google report, search terms like baju lebaran 2018 (Eid clothes), model rambut 2018 (hair model 2018), and tutorial hijab see huge spikes in search volume during the Ramadan period.

Not just wanting to buy any outfit, Indonesian Muslims look for more traditional outfits or modest fashion outfits. Traditional outfits (baju lebaran) would include koko clothes, hijabs, peci (prayer headwear for men) among others.

Modest fashion is a trend among Muslim women where they are able to express their religious virtues while still having fun through the outfits they wear. Modest clothing tends to prioritise comfort and fit as well.

 

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According to Vogue6, modest fashion spend accounts for US$ 44 billion of the US$ 1.9 trillion global Muslim market in 2018. What’s more, Indonesia is home to the largest population of Muslims in the world.

That being said, Ramadan offers a good opportunity for modest fashion from other countries to do well in Indonesia. For instance, Uniqlo partnered with Hana Tajima7 to release a line of modest wear which includes items ranging from long dresses to hijab headscarves. Indonesians also see international goods as having higher quality in many cases and are willing to buy and wait for these cross-border shipments.

Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets and cameras see increases in sales during the final week leading up to the Hari Raya Idul Fitri celebrations.

Google8 also reports that search volumes for ‘smartphone terbaik 2018’ (best smartphones 2018), ‘laptop gaming’, and ‘kamera (camera)’ among tech-savvy Indonesians increase during this festive period. If you’re a tech eCommerce merchants not based in Indonesia, you could consider selling peripherals and accessories like gaming mice and keyboards, smart wearables, earphones, power banks and the like.

Fun Fact: Indonesians change their usage of smart devices during the Ramadan period. Ramadan is a period where Muslims make more time for religious-related activities as well as family-oriented activities.

For instance, smartphones make it easy for people to plan their when people gather together to break their fast, known as ‘Bukber (Buka Bersama)’ or ‘Bukbar (Buka Bareng)’. This is part of ‘silaturahmi’, the act of keeping connections alive is highly encouraged in Islam.

Muslims during Ramadan also increase the quality and quantity of their ‘ibadah’ (worship activities). According to Google9, consumption of spiritual messages such as Kultum (Kuliah Tujuh Menit aka 7 minute lecture) or longer spiritual messages that can be found online also increases during Ramadan.

In cases like these, devices like smartphones and tablets along with their accessories like power banks, earbuds and cases might be worth promoting during the Ramadan period.

Toys and Games

Last but not least, Shopback10 mentions that toys and games are also popular items bought online during the Ramadan weeks in Indonesia. Some Indonesian Muslims use the festive period as an opportunity to reward their children for good behaviour, such as learning how to fast correctly for the first time.

The toys and games category covers both traditional toys such as construction sets, dolls and the like, as well as video games. In particular, Shopback reports that toys and games were the best performing category in online sales in Indonesia in 2017.

The Ramadan period is a good time to try different promotion and discount strategies to earn more sales for your eCommerce or omnichannel store. To find out more about promotions and discounts you can run and more, have a look at our article on major eCommerce shopping events in Indonesia.

The Ramadan period’s boost to many Indonesian’s income and annual promotions and discounts offers a great sales opportunity for eCommerce merchants selling to Indonesia. If you’re selling your products cross-border to Indonesia, it’s good to have an eCommerce logistics partner who can help guarantee uplift and clear customs for your without a hitch.

Want to find out more Ramadan eCommerce insights? Read on below!

Interested in eCommerce in Indonesia? Find out more about Indonesian eCommerce here:

 

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References:

  1. Beacukai: Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Finance
  2. Deloitte: Embracing bricks and clicks in Indonesia
  3. Criteo: Make the most of your marketing in SEA during Ramadan
  4. eCommerceIQ: Giving shoppers in Indonesia what they want during Ramadan
  5. Tokopedia
  6. Vogue: Multi Billion-Dollar Modest Fashion Industry that’s gone global
  7. Republika: Uniqlo believes its best-selling Muslim clothing collection
  8. Think With Google: Winning Ramadan in Indonesia with Digital
  9. Think With Google: During Ramadan in Malaysia and Indonesia, technology helps out all month long
  10. Shopback: Ramadan Online Shopping Trends
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