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E-Commerce Italy: A Research About the Italian Market

Italy, the boot of Europe, has been one of the most influential countries considering its rich culture and history. The home of the Roman Empire, Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Raphael and the Mafia. The inspiring words of Dante came out to this land, the scandals of the Borgia family took place on these lands, the music of Verdi and Vivaldi echoed among the mesmerized people of Italy.

Creation of Adam Italian Art

The mouth-watering cuisine with pasta, pizza, tiramisu, risotto, bruschetta, coffee, ice cream and wine are world-wide known and loved. Al Pacino, Sophia Loren, Madonna… Who is not Italian? The Italian understanding of taste, forms and structures are visible in every aspect of their life. Look at Lamborghini, even the cars are enough to see that!

Lamborghini Car

Italy has a very special meaning for the world if we consider the gifts it gave away. The unique designers like Valentino, Prada, Versace, Gucci or the directors like Vittorio de Sica, Frank Capra, Bertolucci, Coppola, Fellini and Antonioni who opened up new windows in front of the world. Italy has the passion for love, knowledge, art and beauty.

Bella Country Male Economy

Italia has a population of 61,1 million people and is the 5th most crowded country in Europe. Its growth rate is negative (-1.8) due to the economic problems after the crisis. Many of the banks in Italy have failed the stress tests by the European Commission and European Central Bank. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s program to stabilize and revive the Italian economy covers tax cuts, additional borrowing and sweeping reforms to the labor market. It is not approved yet but it will focus on mostly Italy’s deficit target.

Italy has been a country which has seen many struggles throughout history. From the time of the Roman Empire until today. The cultural richness of the country is unique and impeccable. The economical luck is in question though. Even though there was an Italian economic miracle once, does Italy deserve a second one? The question remains. But despite the economic stance of the country it is possible to say that the e-commerce market has its own luck.

Let’s Look At Some Numbers!

  • Italy has 35.5 million internet users and has the 18th place in the world by internet usage.
  • The internet penetration rate is 60% and the volume of the e-commerce market in Italy is 19.8 billion dollars.
  • The growth rate of the e-commerce market is 20 percent. The annual spent money per user online is 1,678 dollars. Also, the mobile market is a supporting factor for e-commerce. The mobile penetration rate is 51.8 percent.

According to Statista the expected growth trend of Italy is like this:

Italy Growth Expectations

The Italian Online Retailers

Hoepli International Bookstore is located in Milan is among the largest libraries of Europe with a selection of books over 500,000 books. There are a variety of book categories with an option of different languages too.

Libreriauniversitaria offers thesis, books, films, games and even toys. It provides useful contents over the products and also present charts for different categories periodically. There are many payment options and discount campaigns.

Yoox was established in 2000 and is world’s leading online lifestyle store for fashion, design and art. Their products include world-known famous designer’s clothes, eco-friendly products and also rarely find vintage objects or art books.

The Italian E-Commerce Market

Italy’s economy is a cash-based economy so the online or credit card payment systems are not a big part the natural shopping and buying behavior of Italian people. Since the economical stance of the country and high unemployment rates are present so is the low income. If a company wants to enter the e-commerce market the payment services should definitely include CartaSi, MasterCard and VISA options. They are the most frequently used credit cards and 7 million Italians use credit cards. The other payment systems used are PayPal and cash-on-delivery. There are 13 million online shoppers who use mostly Paypal then credit cards. The popular products and services are vacations, travel tickets, clothing, consumer electronics, media and groceries.

Shopping Cart Graph
  • The investments in the e-commerce market are mainly focused on the marketing, consumer experience, mobile and the technology. There are also investments for internationalization, logistics and customer care.
  • The reasons of the low conversion in online shopping (1.9%) can be named as mainly prices, duration and cost of shipping, shopping from physical stores and lack of confidence in the payment systems.
  • Italy currently has the 5th place in online retail sales in Europe.
  • Niche online retailers have a bigger chance in Italy considering the bad economic situation and the inequality between purchasing power of people. The younger generation will be drawn to niche retailers immediately.
  • It is also important to remember the lack of trust for the online orders. So it can be beneficial for the multi-channel retailers to offer point of sale devices in their stores which can access additional inventories and has shipping to home. This may create more revenue and also reliability for the brand’s name in online services.

Last Words

Italy is going through a rough patch economically but the e-commerce market of Italy does not look like it is following the same direction. The numbers look promising and the niche companies may get a chance to grow in this market and induce a growth in the overall market, too. The important key to success in the e-commerce market is making secure investments, create a trusted brand image and make sure the customers are willing to buy their products. Maybe the next Italian miracle will be the e-commerce growth. Who knows?


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