During the holy month of Ramadan and in the run up to the celebrations for Eid, people in Pakistan are adopting new technology to observe timeless traditions in modern ways. Technology an enabler of spiritual, social and commercial activities in Pakistan during the holy month of Ramadan
Results of an online survey by Facebook show that 57% of respondents observing Ramadan, in Pakistan and who also own a mobile phone agree with the statement: “Mobile phones help me to follow Islamic laws and practices during Ramadan.” Almost three quarter of respondents (71%) agreed that mobiles helped them stay more closely in touch with friends and family during the holy month. Being connected is important, most respondents agree (68%), as it helps them know more about what is happening during Ramadan.
Facebook commissioned Kantar to conduct an online quantitative research study in Indonesia, Turkey, USA, UAE, Egypt, Pakistan, UK, France and Nigeria to understand how people observe Ramadan and how their daily routines change during the holy month. The research was conducted in April 2019 and included 954 respondents from Pakistan.
Majority of Pakistani respondents (99%) agreed that Ramadan is more important when compared to other occasions with 94% of Pakistani parents saying it is important to share traditions with their children. Eighty per cent of respondents agreed that they experience a stronger sense of community during Ramadan.
Umar Qamar, Founder of Pakistan based fashion house Export Leftovers (elo), agreed that the holy month of Ramadan was a significant one not just for the business but also for the community. “The holy month of Ramadan and Eid is anxiously awaited by Muslims around the world and it is the same in Pakistan. During this auspicious month, Allah Almighty not only opens His doors of mercy and forgiveness upon all of us but also blesses us with countless opportunities.”
Along with the focus on spirituality, the survey shows that Ramadan also has an important social side – 61% of respondents agree that it is a time to spend quality time with family and friends. This is also reflected in the way that Pakistanis use social media during Ramadan. Eighty-five per cent of Pakistanis surveyed said they use the Facebook Family of Apps during Ramadan, with WhatsApp emerging as the most used service with 73% of respondents using it during Ramadan. Connecting with friends and family is one of the top reasons for accessing Facebook services during Ramadan, along with discovering spiritual content – from participating in prayer groups on WhatsApp to sharing religious quotes and sermons on Messenger.
“The key takeaway is that Ramadan is a time of great spiritual importance and community and that technology is increasingly integrated into rituals for the holy month. It also has an important social side and brands have an opportunity to forge meaningful connections with their audiences at this time through inspiring and relevant content,” said Ali Khurshid Ahmed, Client Partner-South Asia, Facebook.
The survey also shows that during Ramadan, people tend to focus on purchasing food, clothing and household items. Sixty-one per cent of respondents agree that Ramadan is a time for good food, 37% say it is the best time to find good deals and 37% agree that they like dressing up for the occasion. “The holy month of Ramadan signifies new beginnings and is the biggest occasion of the year to shop for everything from clothes to makeup and platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp have become key tools of marketing for us today.” said Mr Qamar.
A quarter of respondents said they spend the same or more time than usual researching what to buy during Ramadan. Of those who plan Ramadan purchases in advance, thirty-four per cent of respondents said they use Facebook and Instagram for research on clothing and fashion and 30% of respondents who plan in advance said they use Facebook and Instagram to research household appliances.
Ramadan observers are open to brand communication through the Facebook Family of Apps. According to the survey, 40% or respondents prefer Facebook as a channel for communication with 33% being open to communication on WhatsApp and 15% being open to a brand approaching them on Instagram. “At elo, we have successfully used Facebook and WhatsApp to promote and sell our products and have witnessed a significant increase in business orders as we offer Ramadan sales through our Facebook page,” added Mr. Qamar.