Indonesia’s first Ramadhan online shopping event sets bold targets

  • Aims for a threefold increase in orders and transactions
  • 30 e-commerce sites offering up to 90% discount

Indonesia’s first Ramadhan online shopping event sets bold targetsHOPING to tap on the festive season, 30 e-commerce sites and marketplaces are joining forces to launch Indonesia’s first-ever Hari Belanja Online Ramadhan (Harboldan), special online shopping days in conjunction with the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.
Participating e-commerce sites will offer up to 90% discounts, not only for Muslim apparel and the accessories needed for the holy month, but also for general goods such as gadgets, groceries, and others.
The first round of Harboldan will start on May 26, and the second round will be held on June 24.
“It is perfect timing for shopping; most employees would have received their May salary, and when Tunjangan Hari Raya (a Ramadhan bonus for government employees) and their June salary come in, we’ll be ready to throw in a final day of shopping before Hari Raya,” said Hadi Kuncoro, chief operating officer of e-commerce enablement company aCommerce.
“When Ramadhan comes around, people spend – and they spend big,” he added.
Harboldan was inspired by the annual Hari Belanja Online Nasional (Harbolnas) event held towards the end of the year.
Last year, Harbolnas recorded Rp2.1 trillion (US$153.6 million) in online transactions during its three-day promotion, as well as a 500% increase in website traffic for participating outlets, according to its organisers.
With two days of special discounts, participating e-commerce outlets expect to see the number of orders and transaction values to at least double or triple from their monthly averages.
Shoppers lag platforms
One of the objectives of Harboldan is also to attract more online shoppers. Hadi, who is also the organising committee chairman, said that the growth of e-commerce platforms in Indonesia has outpaced growth in the number of online shoppers.
“While the awareness is there, and the supportive ecosystem is growing, we still need more people to shop online – otherwise, it will be a waste,” he said.
Recently, Indonesia’s Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong said that online transactions only account for about 0.7% to 0.9% of total retail transactions currently.
His ministry predicts that with events like Harbolnas, this will increase to 5% of total retail transactions by 2020.
Besides increasing awareness, Harboldan will also fill the online shopping gap before the annual Harbolnas six months later.
“Traditional retailers have mid-year, back-to-school, Ramadhan, Christmas and even Chinese New Year sales to attract shoppers,” said Hadi.
“Online players have only had Harbolnas over the past four years. It is time to add another one in the middle of the year,” he added.
Logistics partner

Indonesia’s first Ramadhan online shopping event sets bold targets

Because of Ramadhan’s homecoming tradition (mudik in Indonesia, the equivalent of balik kampung in Malaysia), the Indonesian Government regulates transportation in the country during that period.
“The Government only allows trucks and other freight transportation to transport goods to other cities or region for approximately 16 days during Ramadhan,” PT Pos Logistics interim chief executive officer Yan Hendry Juwana told the media at the Harboldan launch.
“Seven days before and seven days after Hari Raya, the transportation of goods is restricted to allow people to go back to their hometowns,” he added.
This is a major issue for not only e-commerce players but also for traditional retailers, according to Yan.
Being a state-owned enterprise, PT Pos Logistics, a subsidiary of PT Pos Indonesia, is the only logistics provider that has an official permit from the Indonesian Government to transport goods every day during the festive season, even on Hari Raya itself.
This why the Harboldan organisers are partnering with PT Pos Logistics to provide delivery services.
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