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E-commerce in Italy

In Italy, online sales are estimated to soar by 17% in 2013 to around 11.2 million euros (i.e. £9.59 million). Several sectors have experienced positive growth such as clothes (27%), IT (24%), food (18%), tourism (13%), insurance (12%) and publishing (4%). These figures were predicted by the Observatory eCommerce B2c Netcomm-School of Management del Politecnico di Milano.

The study revealed that exports have grown by 23% in Italy. The clothes sector and the tourism industry were particularly successful with growths of 31% and 55% respectively. The Mobile industry has experienced the most significant growth with a 160% increase to 427 million euros (i.e. £366 million).

The number of active e-buyers soared by 50% from 2012 to the end of April, reaching 13.6 million users. The number reached its peak at Christmas with 14 million e-shoppers.

E-commerce still offers great opportunities for companies in Italy. A survey conducted by ContactLab aimed to compare e-shopping habits among people from five different countries: Italy, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain. According to this survey, around 89% of Italians carry out research online about companies and products but only 34% buy online. By contrast, 50% of Spanish users and 90% of UK users buy online.

The survey showed that Italy is likely to experience a large amount of growth given that 8% of Italians who have never bought online yet are planning to try for the first time over the 12 coming months. Among the users that want to start buying online, 50% don’t know exactly when they are going to take action.

It also appears that mistrust towards online payments has been overcome thanks to prepaid debit cards according to 48% of the respondents. However, Paypal is the preferred payment method among the other countries: 68% of British users and 55% of French users use them. In Germany, 48% of users said they prefer bank transfers. In the case of requiring a refund, users from different countries are not expecting the same services. While Italian people favor a replacement of the faulty item without any additional cost, Spanish users are looking for readily available and reliable customer service.

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