This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Hanzade Dogan Boyner, is a leading figure in Turkey’s online and digital world, a pioneer of e-commerce in Turkey, she founded and has led Hepsiburada.com to become the biggest online retailer in the region, she has a robust experience in building businesses and growing startups, she was a guest at Startup Istanbul 2016 and was interviewed in a fireside chat by Christopher Schroeder, who is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor.
He is the author of the recent bestseller, and the first book on startups in the Arab World, Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East
Hanzade Boyner is a Turkish businesswoman, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist, she founded Hepsiburada.com in 1998, an online retailer which has become Turkey’s Amazon. Hanzade was present at Startup Istanbul, where she had a fireside chat with Christopher Schroeder, she talked about practices that have helped her e-commerce platform to the giant it is today in the region.
On innovation, Hanzade mentioned a few new things her platform is doing to change things, such as the listing of over a thousand merchants to sell on the platform, giving them flexible payment methods, and helping to pick up products when the merchants do not have a system for pick-ups.
On growth, Hanzade sees a few changes for her platform in 3 years, saying that the fundamentals will remain the same, but it will be much easier for customers to find products they need and have it delivered to their homes. The personalisation on the platform will be escalated with technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, picture recognition and video recognition which will make it much easier to predict products that specific customers want. Hanzade expects improvement in delivery using technology to offer a variety of delivery options to customers such as “delivery by appointment” and “dynamic address change”, also looking at a better integration between offline and online, currently we can not 100% match customer’s location to the product in that location. Hanzade expects to have a more decentralized system for product and customer matching.
On staffing and team members, Hanzade places priority on the customer over any other thing, she believes that trust is the basis on which the company is built and can not afford to lose, she therefore expects her team to have this same mindset when dealing with customers, this has made the team recruitment based on character instead of experience, candidates hoping to join the team must be willing to learn, exhibit resilience and ability to solve problems, lesser attention is paid to the professional experience of candidates.
On being engaged with the community, Hanzade encourages entrepreneurs to see Hepsiburada as a platform where they can launch the product they have been working on, whether it is I analytics or a root optimization software.
Hepsiburada is working on complex problems and knows they can not solve them all alone, it is difficult to innovate in a big company like Hepsiburada and the team understands that innovation happens usually in startups, therefore Hanzade wants to be connected to the entrepreneurs in the region and offer the platform for entrepreneurs to launch their products.