Despite having their weddings delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, couples continue their wedding shopping for furniture and houseware products from online platforms.
Over 550,000 couples get married annually in Turkey on average, generating a vast economy considering all the shopping that needs to be done prior to the wedding.
Noting that Turkey is among the most active countries in terms of internet and social media use, Mesut Öksüz, the head of the Housewares Association of Turkey (ZÜCDER), stated that 74% of the population in Turkey are internet users, while 64% are active on social media. He further stressed that Turkey's e-commerce volume, which stood at $11.5 billion (around TL 80.2 billion) last year, is expected to reach $50 billion in the next five years.
“Online sales are increasing day by day in housewares. Recently, many of our members have begun online sales both on social media and websites. With the coronavirus process, they started slightly shifting their investments to this side,” he said. “Even internet-specific wedding packages have been created for couples who are preparing their wedding. The vast majority of the couples, who will tie the knot, start their wedding preparations at least six months ahead. For this reason, couples who are unable to come to our stores at the moment make purchases online.”
According to a study, he said, about 30% of couples prefer online shopping, followed by home textiles and decoration products from online shopping sites with 23%, small home appliances with 21.1%, and tableware and cooking utensils with 15.2%.
Öksüz stated that the couples, who will soon tie the knot, have begun to add innovative products, such as bread-making machines, to their dowry due to the coronavirus, adding there is a 700% increase in the sales of this product compared with previous periods. He also informed that dinner sets, hand blenders, coffee machines, cookware sets and bed linen come to the fore in the dowry group. “According to the information we received from our members recently, the number of people buying housewares from online platforms has increased by 100% compared to previous periods,” he added.
Koray Çalışkan, the chairman of MODOKO, a long-established shopping complex for home and office furniture and accessories, stated that some couples started to choose their furniture online because of the coronavirus. “Although the rate of internet purchases in furniture is low compared to some sectors, we observe that online orders have increased especially in this process,” Çalışkan said and recalled that the wedding season has opened as of the end of March.
“With the postponement of the weddings to ensure social distancing, the couples solemnized their marriage and moved their wedding ceremonies to summer or autumn months,” he continued. “While these products are being shipped to our couples, we see that the couples who will get married in the summer continue to look at the furniture.”
Meanwhile, annual furniture sales in Turkey has reached TL 50 billion as of 2019.