Getting to the Heart of Customers Throughout the Month of Ramadan

April 29, 2022

Consumer Patterns during Ramadan

For the first time in two years, the Indonesian government has lifted the ban on mudik—a mass homebound tradition that marks the annual Ramadan and Eid al Fitr holiday seasons—with an estimated 85 million jumping on the bandwagon.1 Along with the provision of Holiday Festivity Allowance (commonly referred to as Tunjangan Hari Raya, simultaneously disbursed towards the end of Ramadan), this is often a period that is defined by an uptick in consumer spending.

Unsurprisingly, Ramadan, which falls in April this year, offers companies much momentum to improve their retail performance. In 2021, retailers’ performance improved significantly during Ramadan, reaching 227.5 2 of the Retail Sales Index, which measures sales of retail goods over a stated period, 3 up from 220.4 and 187.9 in the preceding two months.

According to SIRCLO and Warung Pintar’s data from Ramadan 2021, the food and beverages (particularly staple food), beauty, and personal care categories experience a sharp increase in sales during the holy month. Breaking it down further, the Food and Beverages category witnessed a rise in sales in Week 2 of Ramadan, whilst the Fashion and Beauty categories took the top spots in Weeks 1, 3, and 4, respectively.

Yet regardless of the product category, every retailer has the same opportunities to grow during this peak season. Brands that seek to capitalise on the momentum can do so in two primary ways: by understanding the latest consumer trends and adopting an omnichannel strategy, which optimises all their channels.

Optimising Online and Offline Channels

Until recently, people in Indonesia have mostly been shopping offline. However, for Ramadan 2022, brands should be ready to meet consumers online and offer a seamless online-offline shopping experience.

Over the past few years, e-commerce sales in Indonesia have consistently grown year-on-year, a trend that is supported by the rise of the Internet and a marked increase in smartphone penetration across the country. As of January 2022, Indonesia recorded 204.7 million internet users and an internet penetration rate of 73.7%.4

In 2021 alone, there were 21 million new internet users.5 Ramadan that year also saw a 27% rise in the value of marketplace transactions compared to the previous month, with a 27% rise in Java and Bali and a 17% rise in areas outside of Java and Bali. Overall, brands experienced a month-on-month increase in transacting users of nearly 20%.

Furthermore, a 2022 survey on consumer behaviour during Ramadan revealed that only 54% of respondents would be shopping in physical stores, with 46% using their mobile phones instead.6 This means that any brand which wishes to see long-term sustainability must be able to adapt to consumers’ online shopping needs as soon as possible.

However, it is just as important for brands to cater to offline shopping behaviours as well. Even as Indonesians plan to increase their online shopping this Ramadan, they are likewise just as eager to spend time and money outside the home on shopping and dining—for these categories, 7 in 10 consumers plan to shop in-store.7 This trend is in line with the increasing public demand for easing public activity restrictions (PPKM) due to the latest drop in COVID-19 cases.

For example, warungs are positioned as one of the offline retailers that are frequented by Indonesians for their daily needs.8 While Indonesians span a wide range of socioeconomic levels and even more subcultures, consumerism has grown to please certain markets and niches with these differing interests and such a broad spectrum of spending abilities. However, warungs still play as a notably special place in Indonesia where the seemingly different worlds come together.

Warungs, too, are keeping up with the trends by adopting digital services, such as those offered by Warung Pintar, which allow them to stock their products with a single click. During the holy season, most warungs also offer Ramadan specials, suchlike iftar menus and Eid hampers packed with daily necessities.

Warungs are generally more active during this period, with Warung Pintar’s data showing a month-on-month increase of transacting users of 8%. Furthermore, in 2021, transaction frequency climbed by 25% and the average transaction value increased by 2.5 times compared to the previous month. These numbers indicate that there are still many people who shop at offline retail stores, including warungs. 

Even with the rise in digital adoption, it is still critical for brands to target both online and offline channels in their efforts to ‘ride the wave.’ On top of increasing their digital presence through marketplaces, it is also critical for brands to reach customers who are not accustomed to purchasing online by digitalising warungs.

Understanding Trends

Adapting to current trends is key for any brand seeking to boost their sales during the month of Ramadan. In 2021, the most popular shopping hours through business-to-consumers (B2C) channels (such as online marketplaces) fall between 8 AM to 12 PM. The most sought-after promotions were bundling, cashbacks, free delivery, and flash sales during suhoor and right before iftar, resulting in a significant increase in those specific hours when compared to the previous months.9

For business-to-business-to-consumers (B2B2C) channels, such as Warung Pintar, the most popular shopping hours indicated 6 AM to 12 PM. The pre-Ramadan campaigns were most popular, as consumers tend to make the bulk of their purchases within the two to three weeks before Ramadan. The use of vouchers and discount coupons increased by 4%, while more than 68% of warung owners on Warung Pintar participated in online learning, covering topics like marketing strategy, customer relationships, and inspirational stories from other warung owners.

Parting Words

As the busiest shopping season where many Indonesians receive their religious holiday allowance or 13th-month pay, it comes as no surprise that Ramadan correlates with a spike in e-commerce purchases.10, 11, 12

Although certain product categories do experience more sales growth during Ramadan, every brand has opportunities to capitalise on the momentum of this peak season. To do so, brands must reassess their approach and leverage the power of omnichannel commerce in order to engage customers during their consumer journey—whether online or offline. Additionally, brands should keep track of current trends, such as popular shopping hours, use of vouchers, and sought-after activations, so as to formulate engagement strategies using existing patterns.

To keep ahead of the curve, businesses must develop brand engagement strategies now. Along with successful brand activation, these are the brands that will stay top-of-mind throughout the Ramadan period and beyond.

SIRCLO enables brands to strengthen their omnichannel strategy, capitalise on the momentum, and reach consumers who have not yet gained digital access through warungs with Warung Pintar.

To learn more about SIRCLO’s omnichannel approach and trusted e-commerce solutions for principal brands, visit

To find out how you can expand your brand presence through warungs in Indonesia, visit


SIRCLO neither provides regulated advice nor guarantee results. The materials we convey reflect general insight and best practice based on information currently available, and do not contain all of the information needed to determine a future course of action. Such information has not been generated or independently verified by SIRCLO and is inherently uncertain and subject to change. SIRCLO has no obligation to update these materials and makes no representation or warranty and expressly disclaims any liability with respect thereto.