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Ecommerce Turkey is not like in other EU countries

Ecommerce in Turkey is, compared with other European countries, kind of a laggard. Not that big of surprise, as Turkey is often hard to compare with other European countries. But although the country is known as a developing economy, when we look at its ecommerce it’s a different story.

Looking at the internet user penetration in Turkey, with 48.9% it’s in line with developing economies like Brazil (49.3%) or China (46%). And Turkey also has a quite young digital population, just like the aforementioned countries. As a matter of fact, with a median age of 29.7 years old in 2012, Turkey is on the internet younger than any country in Western Europe. Almost 70% of its internet population was younger than 35 years old in December 2012, eMarketer says. And of all those internet users almost one-quarter said, in an April 2013 poll, they had made a purchase online.

When we look at some numbers, brought to us by Turkey Real Estate, we see that almost half of internet consumers in Turkey bought clothes and sports goods, while a quarter order electronic equipment online and 25.6 boughts household goods. Twenty percent ordered travel arrangements like transport tickets or car hire, while 15.9% ordered books, magazines or newspapers. A smaller percentage, 15.7%, ordered foods or groceries online.

As we said, internet usage by Turkish people aged 16 to 74 year old was 48.9% this year; last year this percentage was 47.4%. So, it’s growing, but not that fast, we would say. But at the same time, a lot of Turks are switching their feature phones for smartphones, so maybe the internet usage will grow some more in the next few years. That’s also what the numbers predict in a Euromonitor International report published in July this year, as it projected that smartphone adoption would increase 124.4% between 2012 and 2017. And when smartphone users start using mobile internet, they’ll use it frequently, eMarketer says. Almost nine in ten Turkish smartphone owners used their phones to go online every day. A welcome target for etailers!

What also speaks in favor of Turkey as an upcoming ecommerce market is the fact the country has a high credit card and debit card penetration. Turkey also has a decent physical infrastructure, so online ordered goods can be delivered almost anywhere within a day or two.

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