On-Demand Delivery Market in Turkey

Market Overview

On-demand delivery in Turkey was established on the backbone of the Bakkal system and started with online food services like Yemeksepeti, which brought the quick online delivery model to the Turkish consumers. At the same time, Getir helped evangelise the online grocery delivery market in Turkey by being one of the first movers in the space and launching their services in Istanbul in 2015 by leveraging their market knowledge through BiTaksi, the cab hailing platform.

With certain challenges associated with a centralised operation, Getir learned from its traditional bakkal predecessors and pioneered the concept of dark stores which along with their delivery network allowed them to reduce the delivery timelines to less than 10 minutes. These dark stores are typically at the gravitational centre of the orders in a given locality.

Online shopping in Turkey has increased in all kinds of purchases, however, grocery shopping was a pioneer in this movement which caused the e-commerce sector to complete its seven-years-long expected digital transformation in seven weeks during COVID 19. With this growth, a number of companies entered the on-demand delivery market, primarily to cater the online groceries, leading to a fragmented market dominated by domestic players. Recent years have shown several acquisitions of small groups or international players by bigger domestic players. Supermarket chains are transforming the market in terms of private branding and low-cost marketing through hard discounting.

Turkish Bakkals and Ciraks

When Evliya Çelebi, the Islamic world’s Marco Polo, chronicled Istanbul’s daily life in the 1640s, he found 1,590 bakkal (local grocery shops) operating in the Ottoman capital. Most employed three workers: the master bakkal, a female supervisor, and a çırak, the apprentice who wandered the cobblestone streets each morning taking orders he would deliver later that day. These stores relied on intricate knowledge of their neighborhoods, and their growth introduced two novelties to Ottoman shopping culture: proximity and credit. Most streets had a bakkal of their own, and each kept a debt ledger, a veresiye, that allowed customers to shop on credit.

Bakkals’ mixture of convenience and sociability helped their numbers skyrocket in the 18th century, and they evolved into social hubs, where shoppers could trade information and gossip. Deliveries were always fast: since there was a bakkal on almost every street in central Istanbul, çıraks could move orders in no time. Bakkals so severely disrupted Istanbul’s town markets that Sultan Selim III was forced to regulate them to prevent other businesses from going bust. They also established what has become a visual signature of Istanbul: once the çırak arrives at a destination, a wicker basket attached to a rope descends from a window down to the street. The çırak will stuff the basket with groceries, and payment is made at the end of the month.

Market Size

Demographic Overview — On-Demand Delivery

Online Shopping Behaviour

Key Insights

Growth Drivers

On-demand Delivery Verticals and Major Players

Impact of COVID 19

Opportunity Areas

With an online penetration rate of only 3% for online grocery shopping, there is still a huge playground for expansion and new omnichannel business models in Turkey.

Key Challenges



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