Ramadan presents a golden opportunity for consumers to slow down, browse and interact online and in-stores. Hence, opening the floor for brands to leverage the opportunity and engage better with their existing consumer base as well as attract new ones. Samsung's Shafi Alam, Head of Direct-to-Consumer Business & Corporate Marketing for Gulf Electronics speaks to Communicate about consumers' purchase intent and attitudes and explains how brands can navigate through the same to drive sales.
What are some of the purchasing triggers for consumers during Ramadan, and what metrics can help marketers and brands identify them?
Ramadan represents one of the most significant consumer moments in the Islamic world, giving rise to the "Ramadan Special" phenomenon. In response, retailers and brands in the Middle East offer an array of promotions, rewards, and benefits before and during the Holy Month.
A significant trigger for Ramadan purchases is the desire for new or up-to-date products. Promotions, as well as benefits, also serve as substantial triggers for shoppers during this time. Ramadan is also the season of giving, with consumers investing significantly in gifts for their loved ones. According to a report by Redseer Consulting, gift spending will rise by 44 percent during Ramadan 2023, with overall retail spending in the MENA region expected to hit $66 billion during the month.
In the last few years, we have noticed that consumer choices for Eid gifts range primarily across electronics, namely mobile phones, wearables, and tablets. In our case, we have equipped Samsung.com with curated lifestyle bundles tailored to various lifestyle needs. We have also included a wide selection of Ramadan's most sought-after products, along with exclusive offers and benefits to meet this consumer demand.
What are the key contributors to an effective Ramadan strategy for retailers? In what ways can they stand out?
During Ramadan, the change in everyday habits leaves shoppers more open than usual to discovering new shopping deals and offers, providing an excellent opportunity for retailers to engage with them.
As the shopping intent is very high during Ramadan, brands should consider introducing value-added offers for their consumers. Some strategies that might do wonders for brands during this month include exclusive bundle deals, discounts, trade-in deals, and flash sales. Also, brands can provide incentives like free delivery and returns for online purchases to make the shopping experience hassle-free for customers.
Today's shoppers appreciate good storytelling and personalization. To create brand loyalty during Ramadan and beyond, brands should aim to make a solid emotional connection with customers — one in which customers feel seen and heard. This is called hyper-personalization, which helps contribute to customer loyalty and retention.
In image above: Shafi Alam, Head of Direct-to-Consumer Business & Corporate Marketing for Gulf Electronics
Our 'Nowhere Better than Samsung.com' Ramadan campaign caters to these Ramadan shopping habits. By introducing exciting offers through our Samsung online store, we provide our consumers with exclusivity, convenience, reliability, and value.
How can brands essentially drive sales during Ramadan?
The undeniable commercial opportunity during Ramadan is juxtaposed against the intense competition for customer attention. The key to winning during this period is a 360-degree marketing campaign that spreads a brand's message and value across multiple customer touchpoints. In 2023, that means an integrated online and offline marketing campaign that complement each other to attract consumers’ divided focus.
As far as the Samsung Ramadan campaign goes, our hybrid marketing strategy seamlessly integrates the online-offline approach through our pop-up shops at Mirdif City Centre and Dubai Mall, coupled with OOH advertising, print, and news media as well as influencer marketing.
In order to convert shopping endeavors into sales, brands should also focus on creating a seamless purchasing journey, making it easier for consumers to toy around with their favorite products before purchasing. At Samsung, we have created this flawless, cohesive environment at our pop-ups where consumers can experience our products physically before purchasing them.
At the end of the day, it is important to understand that brands that continuously re-write their strategies and are in sync with consumers' habits in the new 'phygital' world are best positioned to capitalize on retail opportunities.
Can you give some case examples of how Samsung has been able to drive customer acquisition during Ramadan? What were the key objectives that you managed to deliver through these campaigns?
This Ramadan, Samsung has brought its online store to a physical, creative space for the first time through its 'Nowhere Better than Samsung.com' Ramadan campaign. As part of this campaign, the first Samsung.com pop-up has been set up at Mirdif City Centre, a popular shopping mall for families during Ramadan. The second pop-up store will be held at Dubai Mall between the 21st and 30th of April, which attracts more than 80 million visitors annually.
Within the immersive interactive experience, we have combined products from various categories to create experience zones inspired by different lifestyle themes such as home entertainment, fitness, gaming, and more. The zones also demonstrate how Samsung products can be connected seamlessly through the SmartThings app, where a Galaxy mobile device can control TVs such as Neo QLED or OLED and a Bespoke refrigerator, among many other smart products, hassle-free.
Through our many activities, we aim to deliver value and a seamless and personalized shopping experience through our online presence, offering shoppers exclusive reward programs, value-added services such as doorstep trade-in for mobiles and TVs, easy 24-month installments with most major UAE banks, and after-sale benefits such as Samsung Care+ and more to meet the individual needs of every customer.
We are also working towards raising awareness around our "One Samsung" experience with SmartThings, which allows users not only to integrate and optimize all the Samsung devices and appliances within their homes easily and seamlessly, but also connect them to other electronics from other brands.