E-commerce in Turkey continues growth: CEO
ISTANBUL - Taylan Özgür Dil
E-commerce investments, which have been boosted as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affected store and mall shopping habits, have hit 10 billion Turkish Liras ($723.4 million) in two years, Sendeo CEO Özgün Şahin has said.
“The [e-commerce] sector had expanded by around 50 percent in 2020. In 2021, it peaked again. A growth of 75 percent was recorded in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in the previous year,” he told daily Hürriyet.
“The rising demand has brought forward investments. In the last two years, the e-commerce sector made investments of 10 billion liras on average,” he added.
Around half of the consumers and sellers who were canalized to e-commerce during the pandemic-related restrictions tended to continue online trading even after those restrictions were lifted, according to his remarks. “That is a significant number,” said Şahin.
Koç Holding’s courier company will make further investments of $60 million by 2025, he also said.
As many companies appealed to tech-based solutions to ramp up online sales, some 50,000 vehicles and 200,000 delivery workers hit the roads in Turkey every day, estimates show.
Sendeo, which has 500 delivery workers and 780 employees in total, is planning to increase those numbers to 2,000 and 2,500, respectively.
“We aim to have 11 transfer hubs, 45 distribution centers and 2,400 delivery points as of the end of the year,” Şahin said, adding that the fleet of the company has reached 500 vehicles.
The share of e-commerce in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail market reached 6 percent during the period, according to a report released by NielsenIQ in November 2021.
“Turkey closely follows countries such as China [30 percent], South Korea [26 percent] and the United States [15 percent], and it is ranked just after countries such as the United Kingdom [15 percent] and France [9 percent],” NielsenIQ General Manager Didem Şekerel Erdoğan noted.
The volume of e-commerce in Turkey is expected to have exceeded 400 billion liras ($28.9 billion) last year, according to analysts.
“One in three people in Turkey uses e-commerce. We think this growth and momentum will continue,” Engin Aksoy, the CEO of GSM operator Vodafone Turkey, said last year.
Citing a study by the International Data Corporation, he said that worldwide digital transformation investments would reach $7.4 trillion in the next four years.
He added that businesses have brought their digital investments forward six years to quickly adapt to the new normal.
Some 63 of Turkish e-shoppers prefer to use mobile apps for transactions and this ratio is close to the world average of 66 percent, according to the Trade Ministry.
The average e-commerce basket price in Turkey is around 98.5 liras ($7.1). That average price reaches 2,500 liras ($180.9) in the hospitality sector, 902 liras ($65.3) in air travels and 177 liras ($12.8) in electronics.
Turkish authorities have granted secure pass certificates to 35 e-commerce platforms so far. Prominent e-commerce platforms operating in Turkey are Hepsiburada, N11, Gittigidiyor and Trendyol. Amazon Turkey also recently entered the Turkish market.
Istanbul-based startup Getir, the pioneer of ultra-fast grocery delivery business, has made successful market entries in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United States.