Hakim Amar unlocks Ramadan retail revolution and consumer trends

In the bustling world of retail, Ramadan emerges as a pivotal period marked by shifting consumer behaviours and innovative retail strategies. Hakim Amar, Head of Retail Partnerships for EEMEA at GfK, an NIQ Company, offers profound insights into the dynamic landscape of Ramadan retail. From changing shopping hours to the surge in e-commerce, Amar navigates through the intricate tapestry of Ramadan retail trends, shedding light on emerging patterns and successful strategies adopted by retail giants. Join us as we delve into the heart of Ramadan retail with Hakim Amar.What are your insights into the consumer behavior and spending patterns observed during Ramadan?Change in Shopping Hours: With altered eating and sleeping schedules during Ramadan, there is a noticeable shift in shopping hours. Malls and markets may stay open later into the night, catering to shoppers after iftar and prayers.E-commerce Growth: More people turn to online shopping for convenience, and this can be seen in the boost via e-commerce platforms.Increased Spending on Food: Families typically spend more on groceries and food items during Ramadan, for iftar and suhoor. A surge in demand for traditional Ramadan foods and ingredients is observed.What are some common promotional strategies employed by retail companies during Ramada?Bundle Deals: Retailers offer bundle deals for electronics to encourage customers to buy more while creating added value to the purchase.Special Offers, Promotions, and Bank Discounts: These offers, promotions, and exclusive coupon codes attract price-conscious consumers who are looking to make purchases for Ramadan and Eid celebrations.Limited Time Offers and Flash Deals: Retailers may offer exclusive discounts for a short duration, encouraging customers to make purchases quickly before the offer expires.Gift with Purchases: Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they perceive added value in the form of a complimentary gift or sample.Extended Store Hours: This is done to accommodate customers who prefer shopping after iftar, leading to an increase in footfall and sales.Ramadan-Themed Campaigns: Ramadan campaigns surrounding family, togetherness, and giving resonate with customers and help build brand loyaltyCan you discuss any emerging trends in retail sales specific to Ramadan, such as the rise of e-commerce?Demand for electronics and appliances: With extended family gatherings and social events, there's a demand for electronics and appliances that facilitate entertainment, cooking, and communication.Market uplift in the UAE: For the overall technical consumer goods market in the UAE, an 8% uplift was witnessed during the month of March ’23 and April ’23 compared to other non-sale periods.Categories contributing to the Uplift: A few categories which contributed to this uplift were:Deep fryersGaming devices like monitors and video game consolesSmall domestic appliances like food preps, cooking and kitchen appliancesHair dryers.What role do discounts, promotions, and special offers play in driving consumer spending during Ramadan, and how do they differ from other times of the year?! Here's the information in a more legible format:Increased Social Gatherings during Ramadan: Ramadan sees increased social gatherings and preparation for Eid, making consumers more open to promotional efforts.Strategic Use of Attractive Deals: Retailers strategically use attractive deals that resonate with the festive atmosphere, especially towards the end of Ramadan.Intensified Competition in Retail: The competitive retail landscape intensifies the use of discounts, with online platforms and pure players like Noon and Amazon playing a significant role.In your experience, what are some successful case studies or examples of retail companies effectively capitalizing on Ramadan retail trends in the Gulf countries?Strategic Promotions by Pure Players: Companies like Noon and Amazon capitalize on key opportunities and periods before, during, and after Ramadan to launch promotions and sales, aligning with customer sentiments.Week-long Ramadan Deals Event: These companies host a week-long Ramadan Deals event, offering discounts on various products including electronics, home appliances, beauty products, and kitchen essentials. They partner with popular brands and provide exclusive flash sales and limited-time offers throughout the week to encourage online shopping.Virtual Ramadan Bazaars: To enhance the shopping experience, these platforms introduce virtual Ramadan bazaars, showcasing artisanal products and handmade crafts from local sellers.

Black Friday fever grips the UAE

In the heart of the bustling UAE, where the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity defines the cultural landscape, a shopping phenomenon has taken hold, transcending borders and bringing waves of excitement each year. Yes, the UAE is gearing up for the grand spectacle of Black Friday.Black Friday, known as the biggest shopping day of the year, has become a cultural phenomenon in the UAE, marked by eager shoppers hunting for unbeatable deals on a diverse array of consumer goods. This retail extravaganza promises an unparalleled shopping experience.Retailers are seizing a golden opportunity for revenue growth. As shoppers prepare to indulge in the spirit of giving, Black Friday provides an ideal platform for businesses to showcase their offerings and captivate the attention of a diverse consumer base.Major retailers and manufacturers are enticing the ever-discerning shopper. From high-end luxury brands to local boutiques, the retail landscape transforms into a vibrant tapestry of discounts, promotions, and exclusive deals, inviting residents and tourists alike to partake in a unique shopping experience.As the UAE embraces the convergence of Black Friday and the festive season, it is interesting to uncover the cultural nuances that shape this consumer-driven phenomenon.Black Friday sale period typically offers a golden opportunity for goods retailers and manufacturers to capture revenue growth.The UAE witnessed a 6.9% year on year growth during the Black Friday sale in 2022, says Hakim Amar, T&D Regional Retail Partner Leader, EEMEA, GfK, an NIQ Company.“Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's a great time to find deals on all sorts of consumer goods. All the major retailers and manufacturers have a golden opportunity to capture revenue growth considering we will be entering the festive season starting with the Indian festival Diwali. Consumers shall witness that retailers and online stores will offer a large number of discount promotions on several products such as consumer durable home appliances, telecom products, personal tech products, etc..” says Amar. <img src='\8d0630539cb1b6ad70bdb726ef3129b2.png' class='content_image'>According to him, the majority of brands, particularly in the realm of consumer tech goods, are set to roll out corresponding discount promotions. These promotions, in some cases, extend over a span of one to two weeks.“Price reductions are frequently employed as incentives for consumers to opt for models with more features than their typical choices. Retailers strategically organize an entire season, commencing with events like Singles Day and extending through Cyber Monday, featuring compelling deals and well-thought-out price laddering schemes. This meticulous planning is aimed at offering the most attractive deals and discounts on the main Black Friday sale day,” he adds.Customer convenienceAs the anticipation for Black Friday builds to a crescendo, a pressing question emerges: How will companies ensure that customers can conveniently purchase products or unearth the best deals during this much-anticipated promotion? In the bustling world of retail, where the convergence of tradition and modernity defines the consumer experience, the Black Friday extravaganza presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses.During Black Friday sale in the UAE, Epson, for example, has come up with some exciting offers.Customers can benefit from a range of attractive bundle offers and price promotions for products which include a range of Epson printers and projectors, says Frank Oliveira, Consumer Sales Head at Epson Middle East. As Black Friday is a key shopping opportunity ahead of the seasonal holiday period, discounts of up to 30% will be available on selected Epson products in the UAE.Franl adds that Epson aims to ensure having easy access to additional printer inks during the Black Friday promotion in the UAE through their partner retailers such as Noon and Amazon, both online and offline retailers.“While there may not be specific Black Friday promotions or incentives tailored for businesses and educational institutions in the UAE from Epson, the company consistently strives to contribute to these sectors by offering cutting-edge solutions in products such as projectors and printing solutions. Epson remains committed to providing state-of-the-art technology to enhance the efficiency and capabilities of businesses and educational institutions, even outside of promotional events,” says Frank.With the ever-evolving consumer preferences and demands, how are retailers and marketers adapting to meet the demands of consumers during the Black Friday sales season? Black Friday Sale is listed in the global retail calendars, says Hakim Amar.“Simplifying the shopping experience by streamlining the number of items on promotion proves to be a significant advantage for busy shoppers. This approach aids them in effortlessly discovering the high-quality branded items they aspire to acquire during the sale period. The crucial element for success lies in effectively aligning consumer demand with premium products. Achieving this harmony within a transparent and manageable framework of honest offers is poised to guide consumers towards confident purchase decisions this year,” he adds.<img src='\e4ae8d9d38e86e6d75063c21baabe86d.png' class='content_image'>Consumer behaviorAs Black Friday approaches, the ever-evolving landscape of consumer behavior comes under scrutiny, particularly in the realm of online and offline shopping. In this exploration, we seek to uncover the intricacies of consumer buying patterns during the Black Friday extravaganza and shed light on any notable shifts or emerging trends within the dynamic interplay of digital and brick-and-mortar retail.Rather than seeing digital as a one-stop shop, consumers are enjoying an omnichannel shopping experience that blends digital with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to create a new kind of purchase journey, says Hakim Amar.“Consumers have been favoring an omnichannel shopping experience for large-ticket items and durables for a while already. Any difference between internet usage for price comparison and actual purchases suggests that there is a continuing role for the shopping mall alongside the virtual store. An increase in the incidence of online research, where consumers browse online before going in-store to purchase, further underlines the important balance that exists between the online and offline retail environments,” he adds.Brands strategically craft and execute promotions during Black Friday with the dual purpose of enticing loyal customers and capturing the attention of deal-seeking shoppers. Here's an elaboration on how this is typically achieved:Hakim Amar would suggest all the brands can provide reassurance to consumers as they transition from offline to online which includes:Making the product tangible through virtual product tours, virtual shopping, unboxing videos, and other techniques where human touch is visible,Brands should offer complete transparency on product availability and by letting consumers choose the payment app or brand they trust to pay.Retailers should also ensure there is no friction or extra cost involved in order collections and deliveries.Exclusive offers for loyalty card holders would help retain existing customers and flash sale, limited time offers, additional coupons and bank offers would attract customers seeking the best deals.“As per GfK’s latest Consumer Life Study, we have learned that women Consumers in cSA are ‘traditional’ yet aspiring to ‘play’ an active role in society. 68% of Saudi consumers are watchful about companies’ green motivations as sustainability plays an increased role in purchase decisions,” he says.Saudi women are in anchor roles hence brands need to embrace inclusivity and integrate women’s stories into their brand campaigns and strategies.Targeted strategiesConsidering that the Black Friday sale marks the beginning of the festive season in December, brands can effectively leverage this opportunity to create targeted promotional strategies that resonate with their target audience.“The 'golden quarter' is upon us. From Diwali to Black Friday to Christmas, these upcoming months spell a significant opportunity for brands and retailers in the consumer technology and durables sector to drive volume sales. The crucial first step involves rethinking consumer profiles in light of the current climate and tailoring a promotions strategy accordingly. As Black Friday season approaches, it signals a continued opportunity for brands and retailers to capitalize on the premiumization trend. Offering the right portfolio of products can tap into higher margins during this challenging period,” he says.According to him, brands can harness digital tools to craft an exciting promotions strategy, elevating omnichannel approaches and leveraging next-gen digital tools to build anticipation and demand leading up to key promotional events. “This 'golden quarter' is an unmissable opportunity for every brand and retailer. With well-planned promotions strategies supported by the latest data and insights, decision-makers can use this period to deliver tailored promotions across targeted product mixes, ensuring maximum sales uplift in the process,” he adds.