Turkish retailers as well as customers have set their eyes on Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year with its special campaigns and discounted prices.
Campaign periods in the retail sector are known to be particularly satisfying in terms of both consumer interest and sales volume, especially when a high rate of discount is in question. Besides more frequent campaign periods such as special days, holidays and New Year's Eve, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also closely followed by retailers.
Yenal Gökyıldırım, chairman of the Chain Stores Association (KMD), stressed that retailers will make significant discounts in the campaign to be merged under Black Friday, stating that consumers will be satisfied with these discounts.
"All our retailers have prepared special campaigns for November 23rd, which is a very important day for the sector. Thanks to the discounts to be made, we expect significant increases in the sales volume of our stores," Gökyıldırım said. "However, we also have high sales expectations in e-commerce. We, as KMD, will present our special campaigns to all of our retailers today and this week under Black Friday."
Gökyıldırım noted that consumers are increasing their price sensitivity and campaign follow-up habits day by day, touching upon the impact of mobility during the campaign periods on the economy.
"Our consumers follow discounts closely especially in the current period and postpone their non-compulsory expenses. We expect these postponed expenditures to be made on Black Friday," he continued, underlining the contribution of this mobility to the country's economy. "It must be noted that our sector should not be seen only as consumption-based and that the value created in retail within the ecosystem is growing with a multiplier effect," Gökyıldırım added.
While some leading retail companies in Turkey such as Amazon, Hepsiburada, MediaMarkt, Teknosa and Gittigidiyor.com will offer discounted products to users, some companies have announced that they will launch discounts on different days. On Nov. 19-26, Amazon.com.tr will offer discounts on hundreds of products with special price advantages, promising free delivery on purchases of over TL 50 ($10).
Sam Nicols, Country Manager for Amazon.com.tr, said during the expected week of Black Friday, they are offering advantageous prices in many different categories, from mobile phones to books, from home decorations to toys and to popular electronic products, adding they provide fast and reliable online shopping experiences in the comfort of a home environment as well as enabling their customers to access their favorite products at affordable prices.
In addition to Amazon, Hepsiburada.com will also join the Black Friday frenzy. Hepsiburada announced that the discount sales will start in the evening of Nov. 22 and end on Nov. 24.
GittiGidiyor, on the other hand, announced that it will start applying a discount of up to 80 percent on Nov. 23. MediaMarkt will also offer various discounts to consumers on Nov. 23. Teknosa announced that it will disclose the discounts on Black Friday on their web page at 12 a.m., on Friday, Nov. 23.
Due to Black Friday, many brands, stores and e-commerce sites have launched discounts. However, cybercriminals also aim to transform this period into their own opportunities. Antivirus software company ESET warned against online fraudsters and provided ways to make secure online purchases. The main goal of cybercriminals is to obtain income by gaining access to the identity or credit card information of online shoppers. For this, they use a variety of attack methods, such as banking malware, browser exploits, man-in-the-middle attack, fake Android banking applications, search engine and DNS Poisoning. They either directly use the information they receive or sell it to other offenders who are eager to use it
Gürcan Şen, technical director of ESET Turkey Istanbul, shared some tips in order to avoid being a target of such cyberattacks while shopping online.
Accordingly, customers should shop with their own devices whether it is a computer, tablet or a smartphone. "It will be much easier for you to distinguish the oddities in the behavior of the device. Keep away from doing financial transactions in public places such as internet cafes," Şen said. Moreover, customers should also avoid shopping from public Wi-Fi hotspots as not every internet connection is secure enough for online payments. "Do not use public Wi-Fi hotspots in public places and shopping centers for online shopping. It is a safer option to access your favorite e-store via your personal connection," he noted.
Şen also suggests use of credit card or virtual credit card. "Making transactions using a credit card is safer, as it does not cover the money you hold in your drawing or savings accounts. You can minimize the risk by even using a virtual credit card with a limit."
Among others things, customers should also make sure their security software is up to date and that their software offers protection services for their e-banking and online payments.
Şen further suggested that buyers should always check the online address bar. "Choose reputable and reliable e-commerce sites that offer you a reliable shopping environment and can help you solve potential problems. However, even when you see a well-known site, check the bar to be on the safe side," he explained.
He also warned fraudsters can create fake web sites that are almost identical to their original counterparts. To avoid this, Şen said, customers should keep an eye on the URL, i.e. the address bar. "Counterfeit sites can be easily identified because they use different internet addresses than the official sites they try to imitate," he said.
Furthermore, buyers should watch out for fake discount deals. "If you get a Black Friday deal that is too good to be true, it is probably not real. It is customary for fake discount opportunities to be sent to your inbox. These counterfeit discount opportunities lead users to fake websites that collect critical information, such as credit card numbers," Şen noted.
Lastly, customers are also suggested to check their bank statements after shopping. "Checking bank and credit card account balances is always a good idea, especially after periods of intense shopping. In doing so, make sure you are securely accessing online banking and check if your account is properly protected with a strong password," Şen said.