The Turkish e-commerce sector has put on a promising performance in the last couple of years with consistent growth. While the sector, operating in Turkey since 1997, reached nearly TL 60 billion last year, its share in the whole retail industry climbed to 5.3% from 4.1% in 2017, according to a joint report by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and Deloitte Digital. It noted that the size of retail transactions has reached TL 31.5 billion. The report also elaborated on the outcomes by the Turkey Informatics Industry Association (TÜBİSAD) and Deloitte.
At the unveiling of the report, "Development of e-commerce, Exceeding Borders and New Norms: 2019," TÜSİAD Board Member and Co-Chair of the Digital Transformation Roundtable Serkan Sevim said yesterday that the share of e-commerce in retail operations will continue to grow.
He particularly drew attention to the importance of data in e-commerce, which allow companies to plan their production in accordance with trends in demand.
"The appropriate strategies that can be developed in processing data will play a key role in seizing opportunities for the development of e-commerce," Sevim said, adding that infrastructure work on the data analysis will give great advantages to the firms.
TÜSİAD Board Member Sevim also said that the share of e-commerce in the global retail sector has reached 11% and said, "E-commerce accounts for 12% to 15% in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. This rate climbs as high as 20% in China."
At the event, a session was held under the chairmanship of TÜSİAD Board of Directors and Round Tables Committee Member and e-commerce Working Group President, Öget Kantarcı.
Speaking at the session, Grundig Turkey Group Manager Handan Abdurrahmanoğlu said they put their customers in the heart of their business and reviewed the whole customer experience.
Abdurrahmanoğlu said they continued their activities under the roof of the Arçelik Group, pointing to the importance given to customers. "No matter where the customer buys the product, either from the store or on the mobile platform, we have targeted delivery and installation on the same day to provide the same experience," she added.
She also noted that they underwent a paradigm-shifting transformation to meet the needs of customers in the best way possible. "As Arçelik, we have a market share of over 50 percent. We aim for the same share on the online platform as well," she further stressed.
CarrefourSA General Manager Kutay Kartallıoğlu, on the other hand, said the supermarket sector was in a great evolution. Talking about the difficulties of delivering fresh food to the consumer in e-commerce, Kartallıoğlu underlined that it was difficult and unprofitable to carry out food retailing in e-commerce both abroad and in Turkey.
"In e-commerce, even if I send a product to the customer's door and make a loss to some extent, I will profit from that customer in the long term," he said. "We can measure this clearly. I do not see the possibility of a food retailer or retail form being excluded from e-commerce."
E-commerce a trigger for Turkey's growth
Alibaba.com Turkey Director Cüneyt Erpolat noted that the importance of e-commerce has increased throughout the world. Arguing that the share of e-commerce in Turkey's exports was still unknown, Erpolat said e-commerce was the only way for Turkey to move forward.
Erpolat said markets were intertwined, eliminating any distinctions such as local and global markets. "We do not have a problem with the Internet, mobile phones and infrastructure. However, companies with traditional structures still can make money in traditional ways, so they are not involved in e-commerce," he continued.
"When our businesses are unable to sell goods to their customers through conventional methods, they will keep up with the transformation in e-commerce. But it is important to take the necessary steps before the eleventh hour. We are very advantageous in terms of location and logistics. We are in the middle of the world, and we have to dominate this sector."