Consumer trends are changing as rapidly as the technology that is driving them. As consumer purchasing trends become more and more internet-driven, e-commerce applications that offer convenient home delivery options and virtually remove the stress factor from the shopping experience have allowed e-commerce to stake its claim in the world's retail market. According to a report prepared by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) in collaboration with online retail giant GittiGidiyor and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled, "The Driving Force of the Economy in the Digitalizing World," key growth targets for the e-commerce sector of retail in Turkey necessitate growth of 32 percent and revenue targets totaling TL 17.5 billion ($4.9 billion). According to the report, Turkey has revealed its potential in e-commerce, one of the most important indicators of digital development, while the report emphasizes that development opportunities in front of e-commerce and the implementation of key evaluative steps to identify these opportunities are important.
Turkey's growth potential
Emphasizing that Turkey has very important growth potential, TUSİAD Chairman Erol Bilecik said, "Although e-commerce continues to grow rapidly in our country, its share in total revenue in the retail sector is around 3.5 percent. Our e-commerce sector has strong potential for growth and development. We believe that if we evaluate the opportunities in this development area effectively, our e-commerce sector will gain the share that it deserves in the economy." Suggesting that e-commerce should be regarded as an ecosystem, Bilecik said that everything ranging from technical infrastructure and logistics to internet entrepreneurship and from financial infrastructure to alternative payment systems as well as strong legislation structure should be integrated and developed. "It is very important that the necessary steps to be taken in this context and they should be realized quickly within the framework of an effective program and with the participation of representatives from the sector and the public," Bilecik added.
32-percent growth target
E-bay enterprise GittiGidiyor's General Manager Öget Kantarcı said in the same session that Turkey is among the countries with the highest growth potential in the e-commerce sector with 58 percent internet and 65 percent smartphone penetration, adding that Turkey's retail e-commerce volume grew by 32 percent in 2016 to TL 17.5 billion ($4.9 billion).
Pointing out that the most important opportunity for Turkey is e-exporting, Kantarcı said, "We need to create the necessary infrastructure for issues such as logistics and customs. If we focus on all these issues diligently and work together as stakeholders of the sector, the volume of retail e-commerce in Turkey can easily double to TL 35 billion ($9.83 billion) in 2019, with significant contributions from cross-border trade."
TL 17.5 billion total e-commerce volume
•The volume of global e-commerce has risen from $630 billion to $1.6 trillion in the last four years, while its share in total retail has increased from 4.2 percent to 8.5 percent. It is expected that this ratio will reach 13 percent in 2021.
•Sixty-four percent of global e-commerce volume is expected to be generated by developing countries in 2020. Cross-border e-commerce volume reached $400 billion in the world. (Cross-border e-commerce will continue to grow, reaching $1 trillion by 2020.)
•The e-commerce volume in Turkey reached TL 17.5 billion ($4.9 billlion) as of 2016. The share of e-commerce in total retail sales, which was 1.7 percent in 2012, rose to 3.5 percent.
•The share of classic retailers in the total e-commerce market is around 30 percent in Turkey.
•Mobile e-commerce shares stand at 44 percent on a global scale and 19 percent in Turkey.
•Approximately 19 percent of e-commerce transactions in Turkey were realized via smartphones and tablets in 2016. It is estimated that this ratio will reach 49 percent by 2021.
•The most important factor in choosing online shopping in Turkey is the reasonable price expectation.
•Only one in every three people who use the internet in Turkey shop online.
•Consumers are doing product research on their mobile phones, while making their purchases mostly on desktops.
10 years of human-centered transformation
Considering our experiences over the last 10 years, we have seen many technological developments that will change our lives, ranging from smartphones and tablets to social networks and artificial intelligence software. Every change was unveiled at an opportune time. The devices designed for engineers had a hard time passing on the human-centered design. However, the touchscreen became the pioneer of the transformation on the hardware side.
1) Touchscreens: Did not another Palm try the touchscreens? Is the secret of the iPhone just its design? So, does it mean that mobile internet and social networks have no meaning at all? Once 3G became available in Turkey, it caused an explosion in mobile internet usage in the country. The 3G mobile internet infrastructure has laid the groundwork for innovations that will change our lives forever. The iPad, which initially came out as the "big iPhone," enabled a new segment to emerge and potentially take its place in a corner of the digital market.
2) Social networks: Are we "too" social now? We put social networks, which started with Facebook and peaked with Twitter, at the center of our lives and see new innovations every year. Today, Facebook alone has managed to become the world's largest community with nearly 2 billion users. Twitter brought publishing to the streets. Now, countries do not set out in their technological endeavours without investigating the influence of social networks.
3) Instant message passion: The passion to share what you eat, see and experience instantly has become indispensable now. Now, no one is interested in text messaging (SMS). The new generation has become addicted to instant messaging applications like WhatsApp, Beep and Facebook Messenger. The feeling of receiving a notification from a chat on Whatsapp is an addiction and when a person does not receive one, they may feel lonely.
4) Service revolution: Downloading movies and music was very popular 20 years ago, having a very bad affect on the music industry. First, legal music archive was sold through iTunes for $1. Thanks to broadband mobile internet, people started listening to music online instead of downloading them.
5) We are live: Everything is becoming live before people's eyes now. The "live streaming" movement that allows you to stream events from anywhere in the world that has mobile internet, starting with Periscope, has now become part of many applications. Local Web.tv has been added to global applications such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Moreover, it set out with both a desktop version and the Android mobile app.