“Turkey resembles the German e-commerce market from 2005 - but with one big difference: The growth is moving with breathtaking speed.” - So writes Sina Afra, Managing Director of eBay Turkey / GittiGidiyor, in a two part guest article for Exciting Commerce.
Part one today describes the rapid development in Turkey, the second part highlights the future of e-commerce.
Turkey on the verge to become one of the most important internet nations
Turkey is one of the big “internet countries”, which although being set back by its own crisis at the turn of the century, is now catching up with a vengence. Today Turkey has population of approx. 72 million, of which 70% are younger than 30. Currently there are about 30 million Turkish people online and the growth trend is strong.
When Turkey reaches the European average (projected for 2011), there will be approx. 42 million Turkish people online. With that, Turkey would move from currently the 12th largest online country to within the top 10 worldwide.
This trend has origins from 2006. Based on the then barely 8-10 million online users, each year saw a large jump. In 2009 the number of users hit the 30 million mark.
With the rapid development in Turkey and the attainment of the magic internet penetration level of 25%, the large internet corporations made decisions for an entry into the Turkish market: Google opened their Turkish office in 2006, eBay invested in local hero GittiGidiyor, Yahoo started offering Turkish services in 2006, Ticketmaster acquired Biletix, and in 2008 XING entered the market by buying Cember.net.
Foreign business angels, primarily from the nearby German speaking countries started in 2007 and 2008 to invest in new business concepts in Turkey. The majority of these investments focussed on Turkish e-commerce.
The Turkish e-commerce market
In the Turkish e-commerce realm, approx. 9 million active users have spent in 2008 around 9 billion Turkish Lira (about 5.8 billion US dollars). Due to the lack of alternatives, credit cards, which enjoy a high level of penetration, are the Number 1 payment medium.
The largely horizontal playing fields (eTailer, Marketplaces, and Classifieds) are dominated by Hepsiburada, eBay/GittiGidiyor and Sahibinden. Amazon is currently not represented in Turkey. Furthermore, there are many vertical merchants/operators active in every market area.
The well built transport infrastructure and the tight competition in Turkey allows for very fast and relatively inexpensive product shipping (a standard package can be sent for 4.20 TL or $2.70).
In the second part of his guest post, Sina Afra explains the differences between Turkish, German and American online behaviour and which areas of the Turkish internet require some catching up.
- Emerging Markets: Turkey Firing On All Cylinders
- Emerging Markets: The Best Turkish Links for the Non-Turkish
- Monday Syndrome Spurs on Live Shopping in Turkey
Originally posted in German by Sina Afra and Jochen Krisch, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.