KSA – Toluna, in collaboration with MetrixLab, released the findings from their study, "2024 Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr Insights”, providing a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior in the KSA during the upcoming festive season. As the KSA gears up for the 2024 Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr period, the study offers an extensive analysis of consumer behavior, shedding light on the significant shifts and emerging trends.

General Behavior and Perceptions Around Ramadan and Eid:

The study highlights a shift in consumer behavior from 2023 to 2024 indicating a 46% greater spending sentiment with heightened enthusiasm for special Ramadan events in stores, Ramadan brand editions, and shopping during the festive season. 64% of KSA consumers feel that Ramadan an auspicious month for ‘new purchases’ compared to 55% in 2023 while special offers and prices continue to be the top two factors influencing shopping destinations. This year there’s a notable surge in residents prioritizing the outlets’ convenient location with 24% preferring so versus 18% in 2023, and 17% favoring ample parking space, up from 13% in 2023. Additionally, 45% emphasize the allure of offers and promotions, and 21% value the convenience of free home delivery

Impact of Winter Ramadan on Spending Behavior:

The predominant sentiment around Winter Ramadan is excitement, with 53% stating they are excited due to multiple outdoor options available in Winter during Ramadan. Owing to Winter Ramadan, respondents expect to consume more dates (43%), hot beverages and chocolates, and sweets (41%). As for beauty and personal care products, KSA residents expect to use more moisturizers and hair care products during winter Ramadan this year compared to Ramadans in the Summer months.

Consumer expectations from brands & banks

When it comes to shopping, consumers in the KSA are enticed by brands that provide discounts (56%), more quantity for the same price (44%), and bundle offers (41%). In terms of banking expectations for the same period, KSA residents are keen on offers related to shopping (54%), discounts on flights (42%), and signing up for new credit cards (41%). Notably, there's a substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking advantageous offers on car loans, with 38% expressing heightened interest.

Shopping and Activities Planning Around Ramadan & Eid:

Residents strategically plan their purchases ahead of Ramadan, covering a range of items including groceries, household cleaning supplies, and home décor. Eid gift shopping is anticipated to span the entire holy month, with specific plans in place. Before Ramadan, 66% intend to purchase bulk groceries, while 64% plan to acquire bulk household cleaning items. Additionally, 31% opt to shop for new outfits for Iftars/Eid. Furthermore, 55% have outlined plans to purchase new home decor for Ramadan/Eid.

Social plans are also in the works, as 32% intend to invite friends and relatives throughout the month. Travel aspirations are evident, with 21% planning to book a trip abroad for Eid before Ramadan, while 22% aim to book a staycation throughout Ramadan. The process of buying Eid gifts will be spread out throughout the season, with 34% planning to continue throughout the month, and another 11% planning to do so in the last 10 days.

Eid Festivities: Consumer Engagement

In 2024, a significant portion of KSA residents expresses heightened interest in visiting malls for shopping activities during the Eid period. The enthusiasm for participation is evident across various activities, with 82% planning to visit relatives and friends, 76% intending to explore shopping malls for retail experiences, 75% opting for fine dining or restaurant visits, 56% engaging in cultural activities, 65% planning visits to theme parks, 49% expressing a desire to travel abroad, and 43% keen on attending concerts, live shows, and events.

Spending Plans for Global vs. Local Brands Due to Recent Geo-Political Events:

48% of KSA consumers plan to buy the same as before from local brands in KSA, mainly groceries (60%), apparel (clothing, footwear, accessories, etc., 51%), fragrances (50%), household cleaning items (40%), dining out -fast food restaurants (52%), and coffee shops (45%).

Likely Gifting Behavior During 2024 Eid Al-Fitr:

In 2024, a significant majority of KSA residents (92%) are planning to get Eid gifts for their children, spouses, and parents. The breakdown of this total shows a likely heightened demand for children's gifts, with 74% planning to pamper their kids, while 67% will buy gifts for their spouses, 52% for parents, 36% for friends, and 48% for themselves. In terms of what they are planning to gift, fragrances are preferred by 59% of respondents, chocolate, dates, and sweets by 49%, while 48% plan to give money, and 36% will go for toys and games.

The data also shows that KSA residents will spend more on Eid gifts: 47% expressed their intention to spend more than last year. The motivations for this are multi-faceted, ranging from a conscious decision to adopt a more generous approach and include more people in their gifting intention, as indicated by 38% versus 34% in the previous year. Additionally, the surge in prices compared to the previous year prompts 46% of respondents to acknowledge the necessity of increased expenditure on gifts. Notably, 33% cite personal financial improvements as a factor contributing to their augmented spending plans.

Brand Communications and Social Media Engagement:

In comparison to the social media habits during Ramadan in 2023, residents are anticipating a reduction in the time spent on specific social media platforms including Telegram (34%), X (previously Twitter) and TikTok (32%), Instagram (33%). When examining the brand communications expected during the upcoming Ramadan, there is a noticeable increase, with 51% expressing a keen interest in promotions and offers. This signals a heightened interest among residents in receiving information on promotions and offers from brands during this period and 41% prefer to receive information about feeling connected/family-oriented content.

Commenting on the results, George Akkaoui, Enterprise Accounts Manager and Head of the Middle East and Africa Office at Toluna, stated: “As we delve into the rich insights derived from the 2024 Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr study, a profound narrative of consumer behavior in the KSA unfolds. The data not only unveils the evolving trends but also serves as a compass guiding businesses through the intricate landscape of consumer expectations. You can infer the strategic planning evident in residents' pre-Ramadan purchases, the nuanced shifts in gifting preferences, and the amplified resonance of brand communications in the digital sphere. As Ramadan transitions into the winter months, the study becomes a cornerstone for understanding the subtle dance between tradition and adaptation in consumer choices. These findings underscore the imperative for businesses to not only acknowledge but embrace the evolving consumer mindset, tailoring strategies that resonate with the pulse of the KSA residents during this festive season”.

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