Marketing During Ramadan: A Comprehensive Overview 2023

Published: 14 December 2022

Updated: 22 February 2023

Marketing During Ramadan: A Comprehensive Overview 2023

Ramadan is one of the most important months in the Islamic calendar. For Muslims worldwide, it is a time for fasting, reflection, and prayer. Businesses that want to capitalize on this religious holiday should prepare their Ramadan advertising and marketing strategy in advance. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive overview of Ramadan marketing and shopping and what you can expect in 2023. So whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, read on to learn how to make the most of this religious holiday season and create an effective Ramadan marketing strategy.

Table of Contents:

  1. When Does Ramadan Start in 2023?
  2. Shopping Behavior During Ramadan
  3. Key Factors Influencing Ramadan Shopping Behavior
  4. Social Media Usage During Ramadan
  5. Ramadan Audiences Every Marketer Should Know
  6. Ramadan Symbols Often Used in Advertising
  7. Mobile Trends Occurred During Ramadan 2022
  8. Ramadan Trends 2023
  9. Push Your Ramadan Marketing to the Next Level

When Does Ramadan Start in 2023?

The Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, which means that Ramadan will start ten days earlier in the Gregorian calendar each succeeding year. In 2023, Ramadan is anticipated to commence on Thursday, 23 March, once the crescent moon has been sighted over Mecca. For 30 days until Thursday, 20 April, Muslims all around the globe will observe the Holy month through fasting and spiritual reflection. Festivities marking Ramadan’s end are celebrated on Thursday, 20 April, or Friday, 21 April, with Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan time frame

Shopping Behavior During Ramadan

Retailers scramble to adjust their strategies to attract Muslim consumers who will be spending less time shopping and more time praying and fasting. This leaves businesses with a smaller window of opportunity to tap into the lucrative Muslim market. So, how much do people spend during Ramadan, and where do they spend their money? Let’s take a look at Ramadan’s insights in the last years.

Value of online consumer spending during Ramadan in MENA 2019-2022

Source: Statista

According to estimations for Ramadan 2022, online consumer spending in the Middle East and North Africa was valued at 6.2 billion U.S. dollars. It would be an increase of 39 percent compared to the online spending of consumers during Ramadan 2021 in the MENA region. What are the most popular categories for Ramadan shopping? Actually, there’re many of them, but the most interesting fact is that the demand for special goods hinges upon the Ramadan phase. And according to Google, these phases include:

  1. Pre-Ramadan (Two weeks before Ramadan)

    At this stage, there’s a growing pressure to entertain. Delivery and grocery searches are at their peak one week before Ramadan. Other categories users are most interested in are:

    • Deeper spirituality: prayer search queries reach an annual perk right before the holy month
    • Festive decor: Youtube content creators witness an annual spike in views showing grocery shopping and decorating journeys ahead of the season
    • Cooking reviews: There’s an increase in recipe reviews
    • Fashion statement: Colorful Ramadan fashion is a rising trend reflected in a 72% increase in fashion content on Youtube
  2. Weeks 1-2 (Ramadan)

    Ramadan is in full swing, and the shopping boom is already here.

    • Spirituality peaks: There is a marked increase in downloads of religious apps and views of community service content on Youtube
    • Themed recipes: Specifically during the first two weeks, search queries for “Ramadan recipes” like lentil soup peak
    • Modest beauty: Beauty content on Youtube peaks during Ramadan
    • Sweet tooth: Dessert recipe searches on Youtube grow twice as fast as cooking recipes during Ramadan
    • Shortcuts: Consumers search for 10-minute or quick recipes
    • Men cook: Men’s interest in food grows by 70% vs. 44% for women during Ramadan
  3. Weeks 3-4 (Final two weeks of Ramadan)

    This is a period of anticipation of Eid festivities with its gifts and glamor. There’s a shift to Eid-specific ads and offerings.

    • Grooming for men: Research shows a 20% increase in shaving and grooming
    • Beauty gets festive: There is a shift from healthy skin care to festive hair care and makeup tips. At this stage, we can witness a lot of beauty tutorials for the perfect “Eid look.”
    • Entertainment peaks: In the last two weeks, media companies upload more content during Ramadan, meeting consumer demand
    • Perfect gifts: We see more people visiting shopping centers and searching for gifts. Also, there is increased research online for ideal gifts.
    • Restaurant fare: We can also watch a significant shift in food. If the first two weeks are about cooking at home, the last two are about eating out. Brands can consider it and provide enough information when searched, including cruising types, opening hours, lunchtime, etc.
    • Prepare for pilgrimage: There is a 200% increase in searches for the pilgrimage and Umrah. People want to know general information about Umrah, plan for a trip to Mecca, or look into travel logistics.
  4. Post-Ramadan (Eid)

    The final stage, called Eid, is a Ramadan of its own in terms of excitement and intensity.

    • Return to old habits: We can see a peak in restaurant visits as people start going out again
    • Gifting: We can see a rise in searches and online shopping for gifts during Eid
    • Travel bug:Consumers start to look for hotels, holidays, and flights to take advantage of summer travel and last-minute bookings

The effects of Ramadan will last long after the holy month itself, so it’s important to get equipped and work out a detailed plan for each Ramadan phase.

Ramadan phases

Key Factors Influencing Ramadan Shopping Behavior

Now let’s take a look at major factors influencing shopping behavior during Ramadan and what digital marketers can do to take advantage of them.
One of the most important things to remember when marketing to Muslim consumers is that the holy month of Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection. It is not a time for conspicuous consumption. As such, many Muslims refrain from shopping during Ramadan unless necessary. This means that marketers need to be strategic in their approach if they want to reach Muslim consumers during this time.

Here are three key factors to keep in mind when developing your Ramadan marketing strategy:

  1. The timing of your Ramadan advertising campaign is important

    Offer discounts and promotions early in the month before people start breaking their fasts each day. This will give them something to look forward to as they abstain from shopping during the day.

  2. Content is key

    Ensure that your content is relevant and useful to your target audience. Keep it informative and avoid being too salesy. Remember, people are looking for helpful information during Ramadan, not hard sells.

  3. Be respectful

    This should go without saying, but it’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates Ramadan. Be sensitive in your messaging, and ensure not to alienate those who don’t observe the holiday.

Social Media Usage During Ramadan

While the focus during this period is on spiritual growth and worship, for many people, social media usage does increase during Ramadan. There are a few key ways in which social media usage patterns change during Ramadan. A recent study by Arab News found that social media usage in Saudi Arabia increases by 30% during Ramadan, with the average person spending eight hours per day on various platforms. This is likely because people have more free time during the daytime when they are not working or eating. The most popular social media platforms during Ramadan are WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook.

Further reading: Top Social Media Trends 2023

First, there is an overall increase in social media usage during this month. People are more likely to be on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter during daylight hours when they are not working or sleeping. 41% of people in the UAE increase spending during Ramadan, and Twitter reports that 83% of consumers are open to trying new brands and products during Ramadan.

There is also a shift in the types of content consumed and shared on social media. There is an increase in the amount of religious content being shared, as well as an increase in positive or uplifting content. At the same time, there is a decrease in the amount of news and current affairs content consumed.

Finally, there is a change in the way that brands interact with their audiences on social media during Ramadan. Many brands suspend advertising this month out of respect for those fasting. Instead, they focus on producing relevant content for their audience, adding value to their lives during this special time.

Interestingly, people are more likely to consume positive content during Ramadan. There is a decrease in the amount of time spent on news websites and an increase in the amount of time spent on religious websites. This is likely because people are trying to avoid negative news and focus on their spirituality during this holy period.

Ramadan Audiences Every Marketer Should Know

It’s important for marketers to understand the different types of audiences that will be celebrating. By understanding the needs and motivations of each group, you’ll be better equipped to create Ramadan creative ads that resonate with them and drive results for your business.

  1. Families

    This audience is focused on spending quality time together and may be more likely to engage in offline activities such as visiting relatives or going on vacation. Additionally, as many Muslims abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours, marketers should avoid running ads featuring food or beverage products.

  2. Young Adults

    This group is more likely to be engaged with their faith during Ramadan and may be interested in content that deals with religion, spirituality, or personal growth. They may also be open to participating in offline activities such as visiting mosques or attending religious lectures.

  3. Working Professionals

    Due to work commitments, this audience may have less time for religious observances during Ramadan. As such, they may appreciate content that can help them balance their responsibilities while maintaining their spiritual practice. Additionally, this group may be interested in learning about how to integrate Islamic values into their work lives.

  4. Students

    Students may have more free time during Ramadan than other audiences, making them prime targets for brands promoting leisure activities or products. Additionally, this group may be interested in content related to personal development or exploring their faith during this period of introspection.

  5. Seniors

    Older Muslims may appreciate content that is respectful of their age and religious beliefs. When marketing to this group, it’s important to focus on how your product or service can help them make the most out of the holy month. For example, if you’re selling food products, you could create ads featuring traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. Or, if you’re selling beauty products, you could focus on natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin (since many elders have sensitive skin). The key is to show how your product or service can add value to their lives without being too intrusive or disruptive.

  6. Newcomers to Islam

    Muslims who are new to the faith may not be as familiar with Ramadan customs and traditions. As such, they may appreciate educational and informative content about the month-long holiday and how different people worldwide observe it. Additionally, this group may be interested in learning more about what it means to be Muslim and what Islamic values they should adopt into their own lives.

  7. Non-Muslims observing Ramadan

    While the vast majority of Muslims observing Ramadan are from Islamic countries, there is a growing number of non-Muslims – including people from other faiths as well as atheists – who are choosing to fast during this month out of solidarity with Muslim friends and loved ones or simply out of curiosity about the Islamic faith. This audience may be interested in interfaith dialogue or articles explaining Ramadan’s basics for those unfamiliar with the holiday.

  8. The “Spiritual Seekers”

    For many Muslims, Ramadan is a time to get closer to God and connect with their spirituality. Brands catering to this audience should focus on creating faith-based content and promoting charitable initiatives.

  9. The ” Party Animals”

    Not everyone takes Ramadan quite as seriously as the other two groups; plenty of people still use the holiday as an excuse to party! If your brand targets this audience, your marketing efforts should focus on nightlife promotions and special events.

Further reading: How to Expand to Your Target Market and Lift the Business with Dashing Growth

Ramadan Symbols Often Used in Advertising

Ramadan symbols have been used in advertising to connect with customers and capture the spirit of Ramadan. Many Ramadan advertisements feature symbols such as crescent moons and stars, Ramadan lamps, dates, and mosques. Let’s look at some of them that you can use for future Ramadan campaigns.

Ramadan lamps are often used to signify lights of joy, hope, and blessings during Ramadan.

Ramadan ads banner with lamps


Crescent moons and stars symbolize the beginning of Ramadan and can be seen in Ramadan decorations, artwork, and adverts.

Ramadan ad banner with crescent moons


Dates are one of the most commonly used Ramadan symbols, a traditional Ramadan food staple eaten after breaking the fast during Ramadan.

Ramadan ad banner


Mosques also feature prominently in Ramadan advertisements to create an atmosphere conducive to the Ramadan spirit. These symbols create a visual connection with viewers and can help to evoke Ramadan-related emotions such as joy, hope, and blessings.

Ramadan ad banner with mosques


By utilizing Ramadan symbols that resonate with their customers, marketers can ensure that their Ramadan campaigns are successful and help to create a strong bond between the brand and its audience.

Mobile Trends Occurred During Ramadan 2022

Globally, consumers switched to mobile to engage during Ramadan, especially for prayer. The research shows that mobile was at the forefront of preferred shopping channels around the holiday. 50-55% of respondents said they were most likely to purchase through this channel rather than on a desktop.

Mobile trends banner


Shopping and browsing weren’t limited to just the first weeks of Ramadan. A week before Eid al-Fitr, revenue events increased as people bought last-minute presents. That’s why the optimum time for marketers to interact with shoppers is before Eid AL-Fitr, in the second half of Ramadan.

How did Ramadan affect how consumers spend on mobile


Also, downloads of the top Quran apps grew 120% during Ramadan compared to the previous 30 days. Time spent increased even faster — 135%. The average daily time spent per user on top Quran apps grew 55% to approach 2 minutes during the 30 days.

Global downloads of top Quran apps in 2022


Installs of shopping apps globally saw an 11% increase compared to the 2021 average. Sessions were up 13%, showing that many people bought necessities and gifts for the festivities from their homes. Overall, the growth of shopping apps during Ramadan saw significant growth. For example, in 2021, shopping app downloads experienced an increase of 18%, and sessions grew 33% compared to Ramadan 2020.

Ramadan Trends 2023

This year, we see a few key trends emerge. For one, there is a trend toward more thoughtful and reflective content. People are looking for content that will inspire them and help them connect with their faith. We also see a trend towards shorter, more concise content pieces. People are busy, and they want to be able to consume content quickly and easily. Here’re some of the most popular Ramadan trends for 2023.

  1. Mobile marketing will be key

    With over 60% of the world’s population owning a smartphone, it’s no surprise that mobile marketing will be key during Ramadan. Businesses should consider creating mobile-friendly ads and content that users on the go can easily consume. Additionally, geotargeting can be used to reach Muslims in specific locations with relevant and targeted content.

  2. Video content will be king

    As users consume more video content than ever, businesses should consider creating engaging video content to capture the attention of Muslim audiences during Ramadan. Whether placed on social media or websites, video ads can effectively reach consumers and deliver your message. Furthermore, live streaming is becoming increasingly popular and can be used to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at your business or product.

  3. Personalization will be paramount

    With the advent of AI and data-driven marketing, businesses have access to more data than ever. This data can be used to create highly personalized content and experiences for Muslim consumers during Ramadan. By understanding the needs and wants of this target audience, businesses can create tailored messages that resonate with users on a deeper level.

  4. The rise of Muslim influencers

    As the number of Muslim influencers continues to grow, so does their influence. During Ramadan, we’re seeing more and more influencers producing content specifically for this holy month. This trend is driven by brands and individuals who want to tap into this growing Ramadan market.

  5. A focus on family

    One of the most notable trends this year is a focus on family. Ramadan is a time for families to come together and celebrate their faith. We’re seeing more content highlighting the importance of family bonds and celebrating the traditions that bring families together during this special time of year.

  6. A return to tradition

    Another big trend we’re seeing is a return to tradition. With so much change in the world right now, people are yearning for something stable and familiar. That’s why content that celebrates traditional values and customs resonates so well with audiences this Ramadan.

  7. An emphasis on giving back

    Giving back is an important part of the Ramadan tradition, and we’re seeing more content focusing on this facet of the holiday this year. Whether it’s helping those in need or volunteering your time to a worthwhile cause, audiences are looking for ways to make a difference during Ramadan.

  8. A celebration of diversity

    One of the most heartening trends we’re seeing is a celebration of diversity. The Muslim community comprises people from all walks of life, and Ramadan is a time when we can come together and celebrate our differences. This year, we’re seeing more content highlighting the beauty of diversity within our community.

These are just a few trends we’re seeing for Ramadan advertising 2023. As always, staying ahead of the curve is important to serve your audience during this special time of year. By understanding these trends, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with people and helps them connect with their faith in new and meaningful ways.

Push Your Ramadan Marketing to the Next Level

Ramadan is a major event in the Muslim calendar, and it presents a unique opportunity for brands to market to Muslim consumers. By keeping these key factors in mind, you can develop a successful Ramadan marketing strategy to help you reach your target audience during this important time. To help you meet this goal, we offer a FREE consultation that will help you to get ready for Ramadan 2023.

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