Turkey's e-commerce market has "incredible" potential for growth, Kemal Ciliz, head of Turkish Informatics Industry Association, said Thursday.
Online retail in Turkey accounts for 15 billion Turkish lira ($7 billion), just 1.3 percent of the retail market, according to the association. In developing nations average online sales make up 3.5 percent of the market while in developed countries it is 5.5 percent, with the U.K. leading at 10 percent.
Ciliz outlined the conditions needed for Turkey to develop its online retail base -- a solid legal foundation and foreign investment to support consumers’ and investors’ confidence.
Ismail Yucel, deputy secretary at the Customs and Trade Ministry, told an e-commerce conference that a law to protect consumers’ rights is ready to be ratified. He added that the e-commerce sector has always been "highly organized" and "disciplined" despite lacking a specific law.
Online retail is expected to reach 70 billion lira ($33 billion) in four years and 350 billion lira ($165 billion) by 2023, Yucel added.
On Wednesday, Tayfun Acarer, head of Turkey's telecommunications and information institute, said the e-commerce market in Turkey is growing by nearly 20 percent annually.
The association’s research, which only covers consumers, revealed that half of Turks have access to the Internet and nearly a quarter have shopped online. They mainly spend on transport and vacations, which account for more than a third of online retail at 5.1 billion liras ($2.4 billion).
Considering the increase in online users, the growing population and rising confidence, the market is expected to grow rapidly, said Burak Ertas, the association official responsible for e-commerce.