Timing is everything, especially for marketers who anticipate one of the most popular time for mobile shopping in Indonesia, which is Ramadan. As of May 15, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world again enters the month of fasting and celebrations, which goes hand-in-hand with an increase in consumption. As a marketer, you have most likely learned to connect with people during Ramadan when they travel home to spend time together with their families. In fact, this year, people are expected to consume 15 percent more amid Ramadan. Marketers are usually betting big on the days of Eid al-Fitr, when people break the fasting, give presents, buy new clothes, and feast.

No other medium has been more suitable for reaching more people at the right moment than mobile. Indonesia has seen a smartphone boom with more than 100 million smartphones sold in the country of around 250 million people. And like each year and the years that will follow, you can reach out to more and more affluent people who enter the world’s fourth largest middle class. Over the past few years, more Indonesians increasingly used mobile for shopping during the month of Ramadan.

So, it’s safe to say, leveling up your mobile campaign during that time ensures that you reach the most people with a high purchase intent. Everything should go according to plan, right? Well, not this year.  

In 2018, the moments in which people shop for the holiday are likely to shift towards the pre-Ramadan season. The reason for that is personal lending fintech apps are booming in the country right now. Payday lenders, as they are also called, provide loans over a few hundred dollars. That gives people the freedom of not having to wait for their yearly bonus closer to the end of Ramadan. While fintech is likely to disrupt your campaign strategy, brace yourself for these inroads and profit from them.


Fintech is booming, enabling people to shop earlier

Peer-to-peer lending fintech is growing in Indonesia right now, enabling people to shop for Ramadan earlier this year. Why is this correlation so strong? P2P lending fintech apps responded to the needs of the majority of people in Indonesia who don’t have access to bank credit. As it happens, only one in three adults has bank accounts in Indonesia. The shortfall in bank loans is estimated to mount up to a $73 billion. Thus, lending apps are seizing this opportunity. Around 30 P2P firms had extended 2.6 trillion rupiah ($193.8 million) in lending as of January 2018, another 36 more firms were waiting to be approved,” Reuters says. This made it much easier for people to lend money. And it caught on. Reuters says,

“More than 250,000 people had taken out loans through fintech.”

Based on these developments, it can be concluded that private loans will account for more pre-Ramadan purchases.


Reach untapped audiences before Ramadan

Instead of counting down the days for Ramadan, you should prepare yourself for campaigning to all the people who might do their holiday shopping before, whether you are promoting a shopping, travel or fintech app. With this recent development, you have the opportunity to engage more people at different times. I advise allocating your budget to an earlier time frame (i.e. during the week before Ramadan) to reach all of these untapped audiences who might already be willing to shop.

Julie Huang

Head of Business Development SEA/ IN, Glispa

Based in Berlin, Julie is working with major clients in multiple verticals across Southeast Asia and India - with devotion: Her miles prove how much she has traveled between Europe and Asia. She has never stayed in Europe for more than three months in a row. Want to chat about optimizing your mobile campaign? Reach out to Julie via LinkedIn.

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