Breaking through the noise for this Ramadan by being there when it matters

Breaking through the noise for this Ramadan by being there when it matters

By Similarweb & Indonesia Digital Association (IDA)

COVID-19 was named as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020. After two years of self-isolation, lock-downs and mandatory restrictions, COVID-19 will likely shift from pandemic to endemic soon, where we learn to live together with the virus. While the world is moving into the recovery stage and working on reopening economies, the change of consumer behaviour in the last two years have brought profound, not just temporary but the long term impacts to our lives, especially the change in online shopping behaviours that are likely to have lasting effects.

In Indonesia, before the pandemic, only 24% of Indonesian consumers preferred to shop online for non-food items. However, at least 66% of these consumers indicated that e-commerce is their top choice for shopping in the post-pandemic future.

In this report, you will find insights derived from SimilarWeb’s Digital Marketing Intelligence during the Ramadan season from 2019 to 2021. This report highlights the website and mobile app performance, search behaviour and trend of the Top 10 e-commerce marketplaces in Indonesia for the following periods: –

  • 2019:
    • Pre Ramadan (7 April – 4 May)
    • The month of Ramadan (5 May – 4 June)
    • Eid & Post-Eid (5 – 19 June)
  • 2020:
    • Pre Ramadan (26 March – 22 April)
    • The month of Ramadan (23 April – 23 May)
    • Eid & Post-Eid (24 May – 6 June)
  • 2021:
    • Pre Ramadan (12 March – 11 April)
    • The month of Ramadan (12 April – 12 May)
    • Eid & Post-Eid (13 May – 26 May)

e-Commerce site visits surged prior to Ramadan

In 2021, the Top 10 e-commerce marketplaces in Indonesia continued to beat their site visits record during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. As stated in Figure 1, they achieved approximately a total of 821.5 million – 27% more than Ramadan and Eid in 2020. Especially in the pre-Ramadan period, it has achieved significant growth of more than 75% compared to 2020. However, the growth between the site visits during the pre-Ramadan period and the month of Ramadan was not as great as the year before. In 2020, the difference in the site visits between the

pre-Ramadan and Ramadan periods was higher at around 11%. And, compared to 2021, the change between the two periods was only 9%.

Once the Eid merriment died down, the consumers curb their spending. On top of that, Indonesia recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases following the Eid holidays in May 2021. Therefore, it impacted the visits to these marketplaces and recorded 4.5% fewer visits than in 2020 during Eid and post-Eid periods.


Figure 1: Unbounced Visits to Top 10 e-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia for Desktop and Mobile Web visits for the period of April-June 2019, March-June 2020, and March-May 2021.

Tokopedia and Shopee continued to be the marketplace leaders driving the total site visits of the e-Commerce industry in Indonesia.

Undeniably, the marketplace leaders – Tokepedia and Shopee continued to dominate and lead the growth of the Indonesia e-commerce web traffic share during the Ramadan and Eid season for the last three years. The web traffic share for both e-commerce champions grew from 55% in 2019 to 75% in 2021. On the flip side, the web traffic share for Bukalapak and Blibli during the Ramadan and Eid periods has declined by around 50% since 2018, as stated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Web traffic share for the Top 10 e-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia for Desktop and Mobile Web visits for the period of April-June 2019, March-June 2020, and March-May 2021.

Smartphones have changed the way Indonesians shop online.

According to Google, Indonesia is the digital powerhouse of Southeast Asia; there are at least 196 million people in Indonesia who have access to smartphones, and the number is growing year on year. The rise of smartphone users has influenced the way Indonesians shop online. For example, more than 69% of Indonesians use their smartphones to research, explore and make a purchase during the festive season. For that reason, the total downloads of the top e-Commerce marketplace mobile apps have also shown an upward trend of 66% since 2019. Particularly during the Eid and the post-Eid period, the growth from 2020 to 2021 was as high as 41%, which was quite the opposite trend compared to the desktop and mobile web visits.

Figure 3: Mobile App Downloads for the Top 10 e-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia from the Android App Data, for the period of April-June 2019, March-June 2020, and March-May 2021.

While the Indonesians doubled down on spending during the festive season, especially online, the average daily active users on these e-commerce marketplaces mobile apps have grown close to triple the amount in 2021 compared to 2020.

Figure 4: Daily Active Users (DAUs) for the Top 10 e-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia from the Android App Data, for the period of April-June 2019, March-June 2020, and March-May 2021.

Searches for electronic devices, fashion and food delivery services spike during Ramadan season

In the past, consumers sought their friends for advice and recommendations before any purchases to avoid making any wrong decisions. Now, searching it online via search engines like Google replaces that behaviour. Therefore, by understanding the search behaviour, the marketers could realise what consumers are looking for to gauge interest and popularity in specific search terms and use that information to better plan their marketing strategy.

During the Ramadan season in 2021, there was a spike of about 10% in the brand searches for Indonesia’s Top 10 e-commerce marketplaces. And, Shopee was the most popular brand that Indonesian consumers searched for during the Ramadan season. The search volume for Shopee was at a minimum of 50% higher than the other brands.

Figure 5: Search Volumes for branded keywords of the Top 10 e-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia from desktop data, for the period March-May 2021.

In 2021, the keywords related to electronic gadgets and devices were among the most searched keywords that generated the highest search traffic during the Ramadan season. In addition, fashion brands such as “Eringo”, “Sports Station”, and “Onitsuka Tiger” were also popular searched keywords during the festive, followed by restaurant and food-related keywords like “McD” were also on top of the most searched keywords list during Ramadan.

Image 1: Top 20 most searched generic keywords in Indonesia from desktop data on Google, for the period March-May 2021.

Whether the searches via the search engines or the on-site searches in the e-commerce marketplaces, electronic devices and gadgets, especially smartphones, remained the top searched items during the Ramadan season, even on Tokopedia and Shopee.

Besides gadgets, generic terms like “lebaran” were also among the most searched phrases on these two platforms. Additionally, some shoppers also specifically searched for the items they needed for Ramadan and prayers, such as “sejadah”, “mukena” and “kurma”.

Tokopedia’s customers also looked for personal care and health-related products and brands such as “Hevit”, “Davidoff”, and “Whitening Serum”.

Image 2: Top phrases searched on Tokopedia Indonesia, Desktop data, for the period of March – May 2021

Shopee’s customers, on the other hand, searched for fashion brands and products such as “Koko”, “gamis”, “sandals”, and “kemeja”.

Image 3: Top phrases searched on Shopee Indonesia, Desktop data, for the period of March – May 2021

Besides consumer goods, during the holy season, Indonesians searched for the dates on when Ramadan would start; keywords such as “ramadhan 2021” were among the most searched keywords last year. Other than that, the users also searched for spiritual aspects of Ramadan, like the ways of worshipping and the purpose of fasting during Ramadan. Among the trending keywords, “niat puasa ramadhan” and “kultum ramadhan” were among the top searched keywords during this auspicious season. To be prepared for the celebration, Indonesians also looked for “marhaban ya ramadhan” and “ucapan menyambut ramadhan” as well the as image or background for ramadhan.

Image 4: Top phrases searched in Indonesia, Desktop data, for the period of March – May 2021

Other than the international sites like YouTube, the most popular local publishers that generated the highest site visits during the Ramadan period from March to May 2021 were the news sites. Publishers such as Kompas, Tribun News, Detik, Grid, JPNN, Suara, Liputan 6, Merdeka, IDN Times and CNN Indonesia contributed close to 60% of the total traffic share for local publishers at that time.

Image 5: Top publishers in Indonesia, Desktop & Mobile web  data, for the period of March – May 2021

Breaking through the noise for this Ramadan by being there when it matters

Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population globally, the month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr is the most celebrated period in the country. More than 50% of Indonesian consumers spent more than 20% of their annual expenditure during this festive season, and 80% of them spent it online via e-commerce platforms. Hence, for many brands, regardless of local or international brands, Ramadan is the most crucial sales period, with their revenue increased by at least 10% – 30% compared to the low season. So one of the biggest marketing mistakes that could happen is jumping on the Ramadan hype blindly without a data-driven and strategic plan.

To ace the Ramadan marketing this year, the marketers need to understand and adapt to the shift in consumer behaviour since COVID-19 occurred. Indonesian consumers have been more inclined to shop online ever since, and more than half of them would prefer to continue shopping online even after the outbreak is over. So, now e-commerce is not just a business model; it is an integral approach for brands to engage consumers. If your company is not selling a product online, at least provide information to your potential customers online and direct them to a digital platform where they could purchase your products.

Data is critical to modern business success, but it’s only meaningful alongside interpretations and insights. For example, historical data tells you that the traffic to the e-commerce marketplaces surged during the Ramadan season. Likewise, insights inform you about

consumer behaviours, preferences, and trends. So it is crucial to get a copy of the latest industry report and trends with insights to understand better, communicate with potential customers.

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About Indonesia Digital Association (IDA)

Indonesian Digital Association is needed to unify stakeholders and function as a motor, a guide, a beacon, as well as a rainmaker for Indonesia’s digital media and advertising industry. IDA is on a mission to move the industry forward. Bring the 3 values to Indonesia’s digital industry – collaborate at the core, local pride on global playground and technology for future growth.

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