, Indonesia

SEA tipped to record higher online sales surge during Ramadan: study

Retailers are urged to ensure that their inventories are well-stocked.

E-commerce players in Southeast Asia (SEA) are advised to prepare for unprecedented sales surge during Ramadan, as the region is expected to record a spike in online transactions due to global lockdowns, according to a study by tech firm Criteo.

Over the previous years in SEA, which includes Indonesia and Malaysia, sales uplift peaked during the third week of Ramadan for 2018 and 2019. Last year, Malaysia and Indonesia in particular saw greater traction with a 106% surge, compared to 90% in 2018.

Already, online retail sales in the region are experiencing a higher boost this year compared to 2019, with the highest sales growth recorded in the week of 23 March at 82%.

“With the increased reliance on eCommerce during this time, brands and retailers must ensure that their logistic networks and fulfilment capabilities are robust enough and inventories are well-stocked to meet the growth in demand and volume of transactions,” said Pauline Lemaire, Criteo’s director of account strategy for large customers in SEA.

Despite this, the study noted that shoppers may prioritise more on what they need as they observe social distancing.

Previous shopping data showed that the top product categories during Ramadan include health and beauty, electronics, toys and games and home and living, which may slightly deviate during this pandemic.

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