Turkey is categorized as a developing economy, but its digital development does not fit any particular mold. While some stats put it in line with countries like Brazil and China, ecommerce and ad spending are a different story, according to a new eMarketer report, “Turkey Online: Young Internet Users Will Shape Adoption.”
Turkey’s internet penetration rate of 48.9% is in line with markets like Brazil (49.3%) and China (46%). And like many developing internet markets, Turkey has a notably young digital population. The country had a median age of 29.7 years old in 2012, younger than any country in Western Europe, according to Euromonitor International. comScore estimates that almost 70% of Turkey’s internet population was younger than 35 in December 2012.
Turkey also is a highly mobile market—another parallel with developing economies—and many in the country are shifting from feature phones to smartphones. In May 2013, Google published data estimating that smartphones in the country had a penetration rate of 29.6%. And a Euromonitor International report published in July 2013 projected that smartphone adoption would increase 124.4% between 2012 and 2017, with the new devices helping propel the development of Turkey’s mobile commerce landscape.
Once smartphone owners tap into the mobile internet, they use it frequently. Google’s February 2013 poll found that 88.4% of smartphone owners in Turkey used their devices to go online every day.
Turkey’s consumers already spend more time with the internet on desktop than with any other media channel, other than television, according to a March 2013 report from GroupM.
Turkey’s ecommerce sector is also a standout, thanks to the country’s high credit card and debit card penetration and a robust physical infrastructure that can deliver goods almost anywhere in the region within a day or two. In an April 2013 poll from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), almost one-quarter of internet users in Turkey said they had made a purchase online.
In keeping with growing web usage, digital ad spending is rising fast in Turkey. However, it should be noted that digital spending estimates vary fairly widely and do not always measure the same things. GroupM’s estimate for digital display ad spending in 2013 was TL530 million ($294.4 million). Adding in mobile, search and email, the total reached TL955 million ($530.6 million).
The full report, “Turkey Online: Young Internet Users Will Shape Adoption,” also answers these key questions:
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