Sales of consumer electronics and home appliances almost doubled in March in Turkey as millions of people stuck at home look for ways keep themselves busy under lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, experts said Tuesday.
According to data by the Interbank Card Center (BKM), home appliances have been one of the top three sectors that are seeing a boom with a 44% jump in online purchases on a yearly basis. LED televisions have seen the largest sales growth while other technology items such as computers, tablets, headphones and home cinema systems also enjoyed an uptick in March.
Data compiled by an online retail shopping website, incehesap.com, showed people turning attention to gaming consoles and home cinema systems to keep them distracted from the pandemic.
The website’s founding partner Nurettin Erzen told the Daily Güneş that home cinema systems are up 90% from last year, laptops and LED TVs increased 70% and 260%, respectively, while sales of headphones jumped 250%.
Grigory Nizovsky, vice president of Acer for Russia, Eastern Europe and Turkey, also said the electronics company saw demand for laptops double in the third week of March as more people needed computers to work from home and help their children access distance learning services.
With more people cooking at home instead of eating out, the sales of kitchen appliances increased by 30% in March, said Mehtap Yıldız, chief marketing officer of electronic home appliances company Arzum.
Arzum’s sales confirm what we have been seeing on our social media feeds lately, everyone has started making bread at home.
“We can say that our consumers started to make their own bread at home since the beginning of the outbreak. The largest demand right now is for our Panetti bread maker,” Yılmaz said.
She added that blenders used to make healthy smoothies are also becoming very popular in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the pandemic pushed several major electronics brands to shift their sales to online platforms. Ömer Arıkan, CEO of Tsoft, a software company helping brands start e-commerce, said the lockdown measures pushed many brands in the country to turn their attention to starting online shopping websites with more people making online purchases.
According to BKM data, online card payments increased 19% year-on-year to TL 16.5 billion and accounted for nearly 20% of total card payments in March. Meanwhile, 3 million cards were used online for the first time in March.
Soner Canko, the head of BKM said coronavirus-induced changes in consumer behavior are here to stay at least in the upcoming months.
“We will see more card payments, fewer cash transactions, fast growth in contactless payments and upward trends in e-commerce.”
Turkey has taken strict measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has been keeping the majority of the population indoors. The government closed schools, bars and cafes, halted mass prayers, restricted domestic travel and imposed stay-at-home orders on those 65 and older and those younger than 20 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.