E-commerce will be the top contributor to the economy in Turkey

GittiGidiyor General Manager and eBay MENA Regional Director Kantarci said, “We think e-commerce will continue to be the engine of the country’s economy in 2021.”

While the coronavirus epidemic negatively affected some sectors, it caused some to stand out. Especially with the increase of digitalization, e-commerce platforms both grew and developed new products and services during the epidemic process.

Oget Kantarci, General Manager of GittiGidiyor and eBay MENA Regional Director, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the epidemic process changed many habits in daily life, consumers turned to e-commerce during their stay at home to meet their needs, and the growth in the e-commerce sector increased further in 2020 with this effect of the epidemic on shopping habits.

Stating that the volume of the sector increased by 64% in the first 6 months of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year and reached ₺91.7 billion, according to the data announced by the Ministry of Commerce with the effect of the epidemic, Kantarci said, “By the end of 2020, we expect the e-commerce volume to exceed ₺200 billion. As GittiGidiyor, we left 2020 behind with 50% growth with the effect of the epidemic.”

Stating that the factor that will unlock the lock amid the difficulties brought by the epidemic, Kantarci said:

“Many businesses that took their digitalization efforts more slowly stepped into e-commerce through online marketplaces like us. We anticipate that the number of companies that carry their business to e-commerce and invest in e-commerce will continue to increase in the coming years. We can say that during the epidemic period, we advanced the development process of several years with fast shooting. We realized what we could achieve in the field of digitalization and progressed rapidly.

However, e-export, which is an extremely important field of breakthrough that will revive the economy of Turkey, has become critical for economies stuck in the epidemic process. The share of Turkey’s e-exports in total exports is not even 1% for now. It is predicted that this rate may rise to 5% by 2023. We think that e-commerce, which is positioned as a gateway to the world with the employment it provides, its contribution to digitalization, technological infrastructure investments, and the opportunity created by e-exports, will continue to be the engine of the country’s economy in 2021.

Stating that the potential should be utilized in the best way by fulfilling the technological requirements, even producing technology and creating solutions suitable for changing conditions, Kantarci said, “From now on, there will be no such thing as resuming where we left off. With this new point of view, we believe that new opportunities will arise as we move our goals even higher.”

“Millions of new users met with e-commerce”

Oget Kantarci said that they saw that many users met e-commerce during the epidemic process, and that the November data announced by the Interbank Card Center (BKM) also contain important information about the general situation, and he reported that in November 2020, the amount of online card payments exceeded ₺29 billion, with an increase of 54% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Stating that ₺1 of every ₺4 card payment was made online in November 2020, Kantarci said, “Considering that these payments include not only invoices and other payments, but also significant shopping, we see that millions of new users are introduced to e-commerce. Only in November 2020, compared to the same period of the previous year, food-market spending on the internet has increased 3 times.”

Emphasizing that in this process, they reached audiences they could not reach before, and enabled users to experience the convenience of e-commerce, and said:

“We anticipate that consumers who are introduced to e-commerce will continue online shopping in the coming period and at least 50% of first-time online shoppers will become permanent users. In parallel with this growth, the number of registered users in GittiGidiyor in January-September 2020 increased from 28 million to 31.5 million. With the usual effect of digitalization, we anticipate that e-commerce will develop further in our country and the participation of SMEs in this ecosystem will increase in the coming period.”

As GittiGidiyor, they stated that they put customers at the center of all their work during the epidemic process as usual. Kantarci said, “We have taken very fast actions against the changing consumer needs and demand. We expanded our product inventory for the categories that cover the periodic needs of the users and determined our campaigns according to these needs. We highlighted customized solutions. We make use of personalization not only at the level of targeted content or product display but also as a technique used in the creation of personalized products and services.”

Stating that the increase in the mobile experience of the users during the time spent at home accelerated the developments in this field, Kantarci stated that the share of mobile traffic in the total traffic has exceeded 80% in “GittiGidiyor”. Similarly, we see that the share of mobile sales in total sales has reached 70%. Considering this increasing trend, we prioritize mobile in the improvements we make, allowing users to fulfill their needs in a much shorter time and smoothly than their mobile devices.”

“We increased the number of our employees by 40%”

GittiGidiyor General Manager and eBay MENA Regional Director Kantarci stated that as a technology company with digital in its DNA, they made an investment in GittiGidiyor that will bring the infrastructural continuity to the next level. He explained that as a company that is accustomed to working from home, they do not have any problems with adaptation to remote work, they decided to start working from home within 1 day after the first case was first seen in Turkey, and they have continued to work from home since 13 March.

Stating that with the transition to the working from home system, they have implemented online interview applications in order to manage the emergency situation, to maintain their current working routines, and to meet, Kantarci continued as follows:

“We continue the support and provide to meet the needs arising from the increase in time spent at home and we continue to meet the needs of new needs. Especially at the beginning of the process, we sent masks and disinfectants to each of our employees during the difficulties in supplying masks. We provided sports equipment for our employees who want to continue their physical activities. In addition, we ensured that our employees borrow office equipment in order to create a comfortable working environment in the process of working from home.

We continued our Employee Support Program, where we provide free psychological counseling for mental health as well as physical health. We try to keep the motivation of our team at the highest level with free online mindfulness and exercise lessons. In addition, we enabled our employees to use the ‘Meditopia’ application, which allows meditation at home, free of charge. We were also happy with the feedback we received that the app was very useful in dealing with anxiety and sleep disorders.”

Stating that they took care to meet the demands, Kantarci said, “In the surveys we conducted, our parent employees stated that the physical activity of the children staying at home during the epidemic period decreased. We organized 4 lessons 1 day a week, online home gym activities. With the resumption of distance education, we have seen the difficulties of being a parent during the epidemic period, and we organized a 2-hour seminar with an expert educator on this subject.”

Stating that after the travel restriction was lifted, they witnessed some employees going to their families or summer houses outside of the city and continuing their work from there.

“All these factors positively affected the internal motivation in such a difficult period. On the other hand, we also pay attention to humanitarian sensitivities that may occur during this period. Conditions at home may not be the same for everyone. In this process, our teammates who have small children and family members who take care of them at home may face difficulties. In this respect, we are trying to make their job easier. We recommend that we behave more tolerantly, remembering our individual responsibilities at home in the planning of meeting times or in case of some problems that may occur.”

Stating that in 2020, when they continued their contribution to employment, they increased the number of employees by 40% compared to the previous year to 280, and said, “After March 13, 2020, we conducted all our job interviews online. In this process, we have dozens of friends who have recently joined us but haven’t seen our office yet because we work from home. In addition, we created a 50% increase in employment in our outsourced customer service operations. On the other hand, we are instrumental in increasing the employment of our business partners.”

“We saw that there is a mass who does not want to stay still even if they stay at home”

Oget Kantarci stated that with the epidemic, there was an increase in demand especially in certain categories such as health and medical, and the sales of supermarket products as well as disinfectant and personal hygiene products increased.

Noting that there has been an increase in the sales of laptop, desktop computer categories, and tablet accessories with the start of online education and the transition from home to work systems, Kantarci explained that people, with the desire to change their living spaces during their stay at home, turned to shopping in order to make arrangements that they could not spare time before.

Stating that this demand has increased both the listed products and the sales in categories such as home textiles, repair and renovation materials, and building materials, Kantarci said that consumers who are more aware of their home needs are turning to small home appliances and home decoration products.

Kantarci said that increasing time spent at home causes people to need renewal and refreshing, and added saying, “This situation increased the sales of personal care and cosmetic products. On the other hand, with the increase in sales in our sports category, we have seen that there is a mass that does not want to be sedentary even if they stay at home and keeps sports in their life.”

Source: AA / Translated by Bazaar Times Team

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