Turkish e-commerce is coming off of two consecutive years of hypergrowth, and is showing no signs of slowing down. According to the Turkish Informatics Industry Association, the Turkish e-commerce industry reached 42.2 billion lira ($8.6 billion USD) in 2017, an increase of 37% from the previous year.
Emre Ekmekçi, Chairman of the Association of E-Commerce Operators (ETID), is confident that the nation’s e-commerce sector will continue to improve by between 30% and 35% in 2019 alone. This continued growth stems from a variety of different sources, including Turkey’s emerging online shopping culture driven by their young, digital population.
As the geographical intersection between Asia and Europe, Turkey has been a hub for cross-border trade since the beginnings of the Silk Road. Not only can businesses around the world profit from expanding their e-commerce operations to Turkey, but they can also reap the added benefits of entering other e-commerce markets in the vicinity for more untapped business potential.
Turkey’s attractiveness as a growing e-commerce market isn’t a secret. Plenty of international e-commerce businesses are vying for Turkish consumers to sell their products to. This is why it’s crucial that businesses understand the market before they expand their operations.
Here are 4 Turkish e-commerce trends that can differentiate your business from the hungry competitors.
The Importance of Retail Holidays
For years, annual shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day have been a retail marketing must around the world. However, Turkish retailers have taken this to the extreme with large discounts that have led to significant retail growth.
In fact, the Turkish e-commerce industry broke its previous record in 2018 for growth during the week of Black Friday, showcasing the importance of this annual retail holiday.
For businesses around the world, the importance of retail holidays isn’t new no matter which market you’re entering. However, understanding that Turkish consumers may be holding off on making as many e-commerce purchases in the weeks prior to these sales can provide numerous operational benefits that can save businesses time and money.
As an example, lowering your marketing spend during the weeks leading up to Black Friday or Cyber Monday can help offset the losses incurred by the special discounts. Plus, accounting for the decrease in demand can make your product orders more accurate, which could result in less waste and more free capital.
Electronics and Media Rank #1
Above all, electronics and media are the top-selling product categories in the Turkish e-commerce industry, accounting for almost half of the country’s total e-commerce sales.
This is followed by Turkish furniture and appliances, which represent $1.18 billion USD worth of market share.
By 2021, these numbers are expected to keep growing for both product categories, as more young Turkish consumers enter the e-commerce market.
The increased demand for these specific Turkish products can provide a significant opportunity to foreign businesses that are looking for a new audience to sell their products to.
Understanding the goods that are consistently selling in the market can allow businesses to prepare with a marketing strategy that aligns with the needs of their new Turkish audience.
Consumers Love Computers
Despite a national smartphone penetration that surpasses the global average, 76% of Turkish consumers are purchasing goods and services through their desktop computer, compared to 16% on smartphone and 3% on tablet.
There are countless reasons why this may be the case, but what’s important is that foreign businesses take advantage of this knowledge when they’re entering the Turkish market.
If security is the reason why Turkish consumers are shying away from mobile purchases, it would be worthwhile to heighten the security of your mobile website. Similarly, if your audience is frustrated by your website’s functionality, it could be time to upgrade your digital presence.
Plus, just because consumers aren’t purchasing through their mobile device, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth interacting with through that medium. Engaging in omni-channel marketing can ensure that your Turkish audience is receiving your message loud and clear on all platforms.
Preferred Online Payments
Around 86% of Turkish consumers use credit card payments for their e-commerce purchases, while 6% use Paypal and 6% use other e-commerce wallets.
One of the most vital elements of e-commerce success for any business is finding a payment method that your audience is familiar with. While online purchasing has been drastically simplified over the last decade with technological advancements, it can still feel unsafe to spend money using a payment platform that you don’t trust.
That’s why it’s important that any foreign business that is looking to enter the Turkish e-commerce market should ensure that they accept Visa and Mastercard. Otherwise, they may be turning Turkish consumers away as they look elsewhere for their products.
How to Excel at E-Commerce in Foreign Markets
Every e-commerce market is unique. If businesses aren’t prepared, cultural differences and strict regulations can ruin deals and hurt profits. To find success in any e-commerce market, you need to know your new audience like the back of your hand. That way, you can provide them with what they need, how they need it and when they need it.
A great place to start is allowing them to purchase products with the payment method that they feel most comfortable with. However, this changes drastically depending on the country.
Emergent Payments provides comprehensive payment solutions for over 70 high-growth emerging markets around the world – including Turkey.
We understand that merchants need access to effective local payment methods that are familiar with their consumer base. After all, our team of experts have proven experience leading some of the world’s largest digital merchants.
Plus, we harness the latest security and compliance protocols to deliver a secure, reliable and highly scalable platform with comprehensive global payment capabilities.
Sign up with Emergent Payments today and experience the advantages of deep local payment coverage in high-growth emerging markets.