New Turkish personal shopping website offers
MELİS ALPHAN ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Last winter, an idea occurred to what would become the AKmağaza team.Last winter, an idea occurred to what would become the AKmağaza team. There were many websites available that offered private shopping experiences, but these sites did not have enough product variety to appeal to all types of consumers. They thought there was a gap in the private shopping sector that needed to be filled. That idea led to the establishment of AKmağaza. The site features daywear, evening dresses and hijab clothing styles, “because for us, all people are important,” AKmağaza representative Elvan Yarma said.
She said that when the idea was formed, over 2,000 people pre-registered for the site. The compiled results of the registration forms showed that a large number of brands, 216 in all, were requested from consumers, and that many desired a variety of hijab clothing options. This urged the team to offer a large variety of products to address every segment of society.
The website was established with a $500,000 investment and the company’s goals were to reach every culture and community and provide diversity among online stores, Yarma said.
The site sells many well-known brands such as Giorgio Armani, Diesel, L’Oréal Paris, Pierre Cardin, Cacharel, Özdilek, Kayra, Armine, Paristan, DSN, Shivajy Cosmetics, Hugo Boss, Carmen, Sebamed, Ugoza, Days in Colors, Arzum, Philips and Tefal. The site features clothes for men, women and children and also sells home goods and accessories.
But the best feature of the site is that it offers clothing and accessory options for women who wear the hijab. Yarma said wearing hijab involved more than just covering a woman’s hair. It involved a particular fashion style that came with wearing a veil, and the site supported that fashion niche by selling accessories that were as important as the clothes, making it easy for a woman to build her entire wardrobe from one website.
At the same time, women who do not practice hijab can also find products they like while shopping on the AKmağaza website. “We have products for women who choose hijab styles such as topcoats, scarves and tunics,” Yarma said. “But we also sell clothes for people who do not practice hijab and offer products for men and kids. Wherever you live, in a city or a village, whichever culture you belong to, whichever style you like, there is always a suitable product for you at Akmağaza.”
AKmağaza does not use the invitation system. Yarma said the company’s vision was the concept of online shopping that was not exclusive, but open to everyone because every customer was special for the company. In most private shopping sites, users needed to receive an online invitation in order to be allowed to sign up as a member but AKmağaza does not use that practice. The website’s mission was to create a user-friendly shopping system that was driven by the needs of customers, not by profit.
The company is planning special promotional campaigns. AKmağaza is hoping to build a following of 3 million members in Turkey and 10 million in Germany, the Middle East and the Turkic republics. The company operates with a team of 40 people in an office area of 900 square meters.