ANKARA

Turkey’s e-commerce volume grew 39% in 2019 compared to previous year, an industrial report revealed Wednesday.

The e-commerce market size hit 83.1 billion liras ($14.6 billion) last year, according to a joint report by Turkey’s Informatics Industry Association (TUBISAD), Deloitte Turkey, SimilarWeb and Inveon.

The average annual growth rate of the sector was around 35% in the last five years, the report showed.

With a volume of 44.9 billion liras ($7.8 billion), online retail had the highest market share with 43% last year.

The “pure online retail” posted the largest hike among sub-sectors, rising 48% year-on-year to 30.8 billion Turkish liras ($5.4 billion).

Kubra Erman Karaca, the head of TUBISAD, stressed the upward trend of the sector despite global trade wars and uncertainties in global political conjuncture.

“We have witnessed new categories that performed a very rapid growth by providing the consumer with a fast delivery experience and that people who have never used e-commerce have become users,” Karaca said.

She stressed the sector can post better growth figures this year thanks to increasing use of mobile phones and share of both mobile internet and applications in e-commerce.

Hakan Gol, a partner of Deloitte Turkey, underlined that the share of e-commerce in the country’s total retail sector hit 6.2%, adding that the current level falls short of the potential despite the strong growth.

Pointing to the coronavirus’ impact on digitalization, Gol said: “COVID-19 showed that e-commerce is not an alternative channel anymore.”

He noted that companies focused on digital transformation and e-commerce will stand out not only in Turkey but also in global markets.

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