As the new coronavirus pandemic continues to push buyers avoiding shopping malls to shop online, Turkey’s e-commerce volume is expected to hit a record by year-end, the chairperson of the Association of Electronic Commerce Operators said.
The volume had reached TL 190 billion ($24.68 billion) by the end of 2019, Emre Ekmekçi said Monday, stressing that online sales have shown record growth this year due to the pandemic.
Ekmekçi told Anadolu Agency (AA) that 65% growth with a volume of TL 250 billion is estimated for 2020, noting that this figure may exceed TL 400 billion in 2021.
Building on a noteworthy rise over recent years, the shift toward online shopping in Turkey gained significant pace since the country reported its first COVID-19 case in mid-March, after which the country shut businesses, closed borders and adopted weekend stay-home orders.
The government this month reimposed weekend lockdowns as well as night curfews amid a spike in infections and deaths. It has avoided a full lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic to keep the country’s economy running.
The e-commerce volume had reached TL 97.7 billion from January through June this year, a 64% year-on-year increase, according to the Trade Ministry data.
In what is expected to significantly contribute to the volume, Turkish shoppers have revved up traditional holiday purchases as they prepare for a different sort of New Year’s Eve this year.
This year the online retail sector has been extra busy, according to sector representatives.