Turkey’s e-commerce growth trend presents big opportunities for online players


Turkey’s e-commerce growth trend presents big opportunities for online players

Turkey’s e-commerce sector has exploded over the last three years. Covid-19 significantly accelerated this already strong growth trend due to health concerns and mobility constraints. Now, the crucial question is no longer whether people are willing to purchase fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) online, but how frequently they already do and how much they spend on each purchase. 

FMCG e-commerce grew by 68% in 2022

According to NielsenIQ data, the online share of FMCG sales is growing in all countries. The Turkish market is no exception. Online spending in Turkey covers 5.7% of total FMCG sales, showing dynamic growth. E-commerce grew by 88% in FY 2021 versus FY 2020 and continued to grow by 68% in YTD April ’22 versus the same period last year.(1)

FMCG online sales share is even increasing in mature countries like China and South Korea, whereas the most significant rises are observed in U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and Russia. In terms of online share, Turkey ranks third in Europe after mature markets like the U.K. and France.

Higher product variety and cheaper prices are major motivators 

The top reasons for shopping online in the Middle East and Africa region are higher product variety (71%) and cheaper prices (68%), while saving time (67%), and shopping faster (58%) are most important for Turkish shoppers. Shoppers also reported that shopping for products available exclusively online (22%) was also a major motivator.(2) 

Didem Sekerel Erdoğan, Managing Director Turkey and Africa Middle East Advanced Analytics Leader, says “Turkey is very strong in terms of online shopping penetration and is still showing signs for further growth, sharing similar profile attributes that we usually observe in more aggregated markets, such as China and Korea. As for FMCG online shopping, Turkey is even stronger in terms of penetration and ranks amongst the top five countries in the world.” 

Omnichannel continuously offers opportunities for manufacturers and retailers 

Manufacturers and retailers should be aware that a considerable amount of growth will come from omni and that this is the time to evolve the medium and explore its increasing potential. There are, however, some considerations that may affect the opportunities ahead. These include: 

Shopper experience 

A limitless online basket may have its downfalls in quality and reliability of service. The challenge here is to create a safe environment for the consumer where omni technology can meet shopper expectations, while value for money and promo strategy is key. 

The role of the omni shop 

Consumers will continue to visit physical stores primarily because of experiential and social engagement. For example, 39% of Turkish online shoppers—who are “online shopaholics”—state that “they investigate products both online and in physical stores, and purchase online.” (2) 

Thus, faster service, efficient deliveries, and shopper experience are essential attributes for etailers to stay ahead of the competition. 

Fight for attention 

It is true that online allows for better shopper targeting, personalized offers, and dynamic pricing. But we are already experiencing a fragmented marketplace with new etailers and brands appearing every day, which can pose the challenge of retaining loyalty. 

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Retailers and manufacturers can create an enhanced shopper experience 

From a global perspective, both manufacturers and retailers have some space to improve the online shopper experience further. Didem Sekerel Erdoğan observes that there are four main axes to explore: Availability, Curation, Immediacy and Excitement.

For the availability portion, shoppers expect retailers to provide physical and digital access points to products. Retailers also need to commit an error-proof process of order picking, which requires supply chain automation. Manufacturers, on the other hand, can transparently communicate assortment and supply updates and optimize their distribution gaps to improve online product availability. 

Curation is another developing aspect of the online shopper experience. Retailers can enhance online search process for products by aligning with search platforms and steering consumers in the right direction with suggestions and content management. Manufacturers, however, are supposed to carefully and purposefully manage the message of their brand. They also need to align their brand offer with the most searched attributes to optimize brand relevance. 

The sense of immediacy is another crucial aspect of the online shopping experience. To fully explore the opportunities of immediacy, retailers can create new touchpoints for products to recreate how impulse moments occur inphysical stores. Also, online orders should be flexible and easy to modify so that shoppers can make their baskets larger any time before delivery. On the manufacturer side, it is important to justify the value of the brand and create a digital stimulus to support impulse buying. 

Last but not least, excitement is a core factor in an ideal shopper experience. Retailers need to surprise and delight shoppers through customer services and other available means. They can also extend offers and drive loyalty through future actions to create a pleasant and longer-term experience. Manufacturers should gamify the shopping process to benefit from the achievement-seeking behavior of consumers. They can also unite their brand buyers via social platforms and location-based interaction to encourage brand relationships. 


(1)NielsenIQ Turkey Retail and E-Commerce Panels 

(2)NielsenIQ Online Shoppers’ Journey in Turkey report