How are you going to shop during this Ramadan? Is it better to order groceries online or go to the nearby store? These questions might have been a no-brainer for most of us until before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic globally, a large number of Muslims had to change their shopping habits. Public health experts, as well as governments in most countries, have been insisting on people follow strict social distancing rules to stem the spread of COVID-19.
How Are You Going To Shop During Ramadan?
As a result of this global health crisis, many Muslims and non-Muslims in various countries, have been ordering groceries and other essentials online instead of visiting grocery stores.
Global Muslim Buying Patterns During Ramadan
In minority-Muslim countries like Japan, the US, the UK, and Australia, many halal food shops already have online stores. Many people order their halal food items such as rice and halal meat etc., from these stores on the telephone instead of filling out an online order form on these websites.
The Halal Times has covered a related topic on its pages. It may be helpful for marketers who want to understand the shopping patterns of Muslims during Ramadan.
Online grocery shopping has also gained traction among Muslims in South East Asian countries. Marketplaces such as B-Halal have sprung up recently to cater to the growing needs of Muslim consumers during and after Ramadan.
According to a recent news report on the Pakistani media outlets, the number of people shopping grocery and other food items and essentials online has seen a sudden surge of 18% during the past six weeks.
Benefits of Ordering Food Items Online
Online delivery services dramatically reduce your contact with other people: you pay for your order online. It means you do not have to physically visit the store in question. This helps you protect your health as well as the health of your family members. The grocery stores package the food items you ordered and leave the package at your doorstep. Simple as that. By ordering groceries and other items, you could also save your precious time to perform your prayers and do other more important jobs while sitting in the comfort of your home.
Is Ordering Online For Everybody?
There is no doubt that ordering halal food online especially, during Ramadan, is a better option these days due to the spread of coronavirus pandemics. However, the situation may not be the same in other parts of the world. Many people including Muslims, as well, have no choice but to visit a grocery store in person. So, how should you prepare yourself if you are one such person?
Precautions To Take While Visiting A Physical Store
Your primary concern should be to protect yourself when you go shopping outdoors. Maintain a safe distance of about two meters or more from another person. Avoid going to overcrowded shops at all costs. Or, at least, wait for most of the people to leave the store before you set your foot inside.
You may also want to shop at a store that is already following the social distancing rule. In Japan and many other countries, some shopping malls and hospitals follow the rule strictly. Health care professionals urge people to clean off their groceries before putting them in the refrigerator.
You should also leave your kids and other family members at home while going shopping. Place your raw food in a bag to prevent direct contact with the cart or a basket you are using inside the store. Wash your hands and face properly after coming back from the store.
Many stores in Japan and many other countries offer self-service checkout counters. Just scan the items you want to buy, pay the total amount shown on the screen and you are good to go. No need to deal with a human cashier.
So, in general, we would suggest Muslims order their groceries online during Ramadan and afterward if possible. If that is not practical for you, try to buy bigger quantities of groceries so that you do not have to go outside during Ramadan.