Instead of heading to shopping malls and supermarkets, people prefer to stay home and shop online. The trend has been particularly since the onset of the global economic crisis, he said.
Turkish customers have been using the Internet quite effectively, said Hiçsönmez. They have become accustomed to searching information about the product they are planning to purchase, he said, and added that a Google study was proof of that.
Some 92 percent of Internet users have searched the Web prior to purchasing a digital camera. That rate increases to 96 percent when it comes to those looking to buy a new mobile phone, Hiçsönmez told an Anatolia news agency reporter. The e-trade sites also offer lower prices than a conventional retail outlet. This is another reason why online purchases have become so popular, he said.
"The utilization of price comparison sites, which people barely visited in the past, has increased to 60 percent," said Hiçsönmez. "People have been making searches by writing the key word ’cheap’ and then the name of the item they are looking to purchase."
Online shopping in the European Union nations has almost doubled within the past four years, he said. "Online sales increased 36 percent during the first half of 2008 in the United Kingdom. Turkey has also made a leap in utilization of Internet for shopping.
Storeowners, who have been struggling with high rents, have also turned to the Internet and loosened the purse strings for the construction of their Web sites, said Hiçsönmez. Google believes the Internet provides an environment of net profit for everyone, especially in times of crisis, he added. Distribution costs of products have also declined. That is another reason for many companies leaning towards Web sales, according to Hiçsönmez.
The Internet provides business owners with serious advantages in times of crisis. Millions of people in Turkey search for products they are seeking to buy, generating great opportunity to come across the seller of that product."