Not all Muslim consumers behave the same when shopping online. We have mentioned in a previous article that a consumer buys a specific product resulting from his or her need for that particular product, which is the result of one’s perception.
This perception is the end product of social norms, culture, lifestyle, and in our case to what extent they adhere to Islam. For instance, a Muslim consumer who adheres strictly to the Islamic concept of spending only on what they need is less likely to indulge in overspending or regularly buying luxury items even if they can afford them.
Many other factors play a part in the way different Muslim consumers behave differently when shopping online. These are – of course – relevant to mainstream online shoppers too.
In a study published by ELSEVIER, Psychological and social factors that influence online consumer behavior, the researchers created a model that shows the different factors that influence buyer behavior. This is exhibited by the figure below:
Although we cannot control most of the factors that influence buyer behavior, we do need to understand them thoroughly and optimize our offer and user experience to suit the different types of Muslim consumers.
1 The Muslim Consumer Shopping Online for the First Time
You might be thinking that in this day and age: “Isn’t everyone already familiar with shopping online?”
The thing is, demographics keep changing. Those kids from two or three years ago are joining the Gen Z generation. Finally, they have the autonomy to go online and buy what they want without having mom or dad buy it for them. Then you have the older generations who may have no choice but to shop online because of the COVID-19 crisis for instance. These are just two examples of potential first-time online shoppers.
In The $3 Trillion Reason Why Mainstream Brands Cannot Ignore The Muslim Consumer Market article we mentioned that:
Just like everyone on the planet, COVID-19 is impacting Muslim consumer behavior too. The social distancing measures have contributed to more cross-border e-commerce and mobile-commerce.
This particular group of Muslim consumers is still learning how to move around the internet. They don’t have many expectations. However, they most probably avoid complicated pages and intrusive pop-ups. Such customers usually play it safe and begin their first-time online purchase with small, low-budget, and safe products.
Avoid creating fast-moving slides and long buying processes as this will confuse them. Subsequently, they will quit your website without committing to making a purchase.
Make sure you have a neat, clean, simple, and easy-to-navigate interface. This, by the way, will please both new-to-internet customers as well as internet-savvy customers.
Create perfect descriptions of your products and services. Create visible Call-to-Action (CTA )buttons, an easy-to-use shopping cart, and fuss-free checkout pages.
All this may help the new users gain confidence in making another purchase from your brand. If you’re able to optimize the experience, you can expect these customers to return and spend more having had the satisfaction of a smooth buying experience.
2 The Discount-Seeking Muslim Consumer
Here is a quote from Christiane Jäcker, author of E-Commerce: A Paradise for Bargain Hunters? that epitomizes the discount-seeking phenomenon among online shoppers, and Muslim consumers are not immune to it:
The arguments seem clear: When e-commerce customers shop by mouse click, they can compare the prices of the various online suppliers much more quickly than conventional buyers. Market transparency increases. This intensifies interfirm competition, which then leads to lower prices.
If you think this is a fringe group of die-hard coupon-seeking online shoppers you are underestimating their size and potential value. A high-profile anti-virus firm reported that “84% of online shoppers would choose bargain prices over concerns of data security”. That’s a huge number to digest but it shows the sheer quantity of this group of online shoppers.
The challenge is to turn quantity into quality. You start by understanding the Muslim consumers who fall under this category.
These types of Muslim consumers are focused on value and are experts at comparing prices through multiple sites.
Keep in mind that they are not necessarily looking for the lowest price as much as they are looking for the best value. Sure, lower prices are a good incentive, but what motivates them the most is the value per dollar paid.
Although it might seem like a difficult task, converting the one-time-deal Muslim customer into a loyal one can be achieved quite simply by shifting the attention to other aspects that impact their purchase decision.
You can achieve this by:
- Showcasing the features your products/services offer
- Using reviews to outline why other Muslim customers love your products/services
- Standing out from the competition by being very detailed
Think about it, If your customer is a true deal seeker, he/she already knows how your prices compare, now they need to understand why they should shop with you to get the best value for their dollar.
As a side note, remember that you need to keep all your customers coming back, or at least the majority of them. So make sure their buyer experience is awesome from research, all the way to service after purchasing.
Brands are failing to create positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty.” The result is that 67 percent of customers have become “serial switchers,” customers who are willing to switch brands because of a poor customer experience.Source: NewVoiceMedia’s 2018 “Serial Switchers” report via FORBES
3 The Need-Based Muslim Consumer
Today the internet has become more accessible in Muslim homes. Muslim consumers are shifting drastically from traditional in-store shopping to online shopping even for the most vital of needs. It is suitable for Muslim consumers who lead a busy lifestyle.
The need-based Muslim consumer is creating demand for pragmatic, halal solutions. They will scour the internet for various products and services; from Islamic finance and halal food to Islamic lifestyle products and services.
Need-based Muslim customers are looking for something very specific. Having conducted extensive research on the product or service they’re looking for, they’re the type of customer most likely to compare products across sites and are terrified of making an uninformed decision.
Think of a young Muslim couple looking to buy their first house. They will spend hours online looking into what shariah-compliant mortgages entail.
They will then start researching the best options and the best providers meticulously to make sure they are not making a mistake with long-term repercussions.
Since need-based Muslim consumers want to ensure they’re buying only the best-suited product or service for their needs, they are committed to educating themselves.
So try swaying this Muslim consumer’s decision by providing them an easy way to find all the information they’re looking for on your website. You don’t want them to leave empty-handed.
Make them feel that you are a trustworthy and qualified expert in the field. This will build trust and confidence which will make them more willing to listen to your proposal or offer.
Also make sure that you:
- Provide relevant specific details of your products/services
- Include detailed lists of product/service features
- Incorporate social proof through testimonials and reviews on your site
There are a plethora of types of Muslim consumers out there. We covered three of the most common and the most likely ones your business will encounter.
The key to a successful business is healthy customer-retention.
When you understand the different traits of your Muslim customers and how to nurture them, you have a blueprint for success. No one knows about your customers better than you.
However, it may not always be easy to get the right type of Muslim consumer to visit your website. Even when you have plenty of them visiting your website, you might still be missing out on plenty more.
At Muslim Ad Network we have helped brands reach the right Muslim audience – those new to online engagement with brands, deal seekers, need-based customers, and many more – cost-efficiently for the past decade; reaching more than 250 million Muslim consumers online.start targeting muslim consumers