An Empirical Investigation of Turkish Consumers' Online Shopping Patterns

By Ergin, Elif Akagun; Akbay, Handan Ozdemir | Journal of Global Business and Technology, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

An Empirical Investigation of Turkish Consumers' Online Shopping Patterns


Ergin, Elif Akagun, Akbay, Handan Ozdemir, Journal of Global Business and Technology


ABSTRACT

With the rapid rise of Internet, the number of consumers shopping online for consumer goods and services has grown dramatically. This growth in Internet shopping in many different cultures around the world has attracted the attention of researchers interested in what leads individuals to adopt this mode of shopping. Similar to the global trend, Turkish consumers are increasingly opting to use the Internet for their shopping purposes as well. With a population over 70 million people, Turkish market's potential for online commerce is quite significant. The aim of this study is to examine male and female consumers' online shopping behavior, usage patterns and the key elements that encourage online shopping.

INTRODUCTION

The internet is one of the fastest growing media in human history (Balabanis and Vassilelou,1999). According to ITU statistics, the global Internet market today is estimated to have over 500 million consumers (ITU,2004). ITU reports that there are 474 million Internet users in G8 countries and 657 million Internet users in non-G8 countries. The internet is one of several non-store formats frequently used by consumers around the globe for shopping purposes. The number of consumers using the internet to shop for consumer goods and services is rising rapidly. ?-shopping has brought the reail space in to the home. Research shows that the number of online shoppers in six key European markets has jumped to 31,4 percent, indicating that 59 million Europeans regularly use the internet for shopping(GfK Group, 2002). England, Germany and France share the top three places respectively. It is important to note that the volume of the purchases increase over proportionally with the number of online shoppers.

Growth in the number of internet shoppers, the number of female internet users, and the percent of internet sales of apparel products are some of the trends that are expected to continue (Maloy, 2003). By the end of 2010, sales figures for online commerce is forecasted to reach 50° States. Total online sales is expected to hit 329 billion dollars in the United States and 234 billion dollars in Europe by 2010 (Donmez, 2006).

These figures prove that a large group of consumers in the US and Europe frequently use the Internet for shopping purposes. The rapid rise of Internet shopping in many different cultures around the world has attracted the attention of researchers interested in what leads individuals to adopt this mode of shopping. To gain a better understanding of this issue, one must analyze the factors that affect and drive consumers to shop online. Personal orientations (Donthu and Garcia, 1999), demographics (Alridge et al., 1997), experience with Internet applications (Citrin et al. ,2000) are among some of the factors that have previously been studied. Online shoppers appear to be attracted to the ease with which they can find products on the Internet. They also favor the detailed product information available and the variety of choices offered. Ease of comparison shopping, low shipping costs, timely delivery, avoidance of bad weather, convenience and time-saving are seen as key reasons for the increase in online shopping (Magee, 2003; Rowley and Okelberry, 2000).

Evolution of the Internet and Online Shopping in Turkey

Turkey is one of the largest countries in the Eastern Meditteranean region. The country spans the boundary betweeen Europe and Middle East politically, economically, culturally, and geographically. The delicate balance between the traditional and the modern is a defining quality of the Turkish society. The birth of Internet in Turkey took place in 1986 when a BITNET connection was established between Ege University in Izmir and European Academic and Research Network in Pisa, Italy (Tonta & Kurbanoglu,1993; Özgit et al., 1995). The first activities to establish an Internet protocol (IP) based network started in 1989. By early 1995, the number of hosts had grown to 3000 and the number of daily users were estimated to be between 10,000 to 15,000. …

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