E-Commerce in Italy 2018


E-Commerce in Italy 2018

In Italy, E-Commerce took off considerably after the United States, the UK or Germany. Even though a laggard, e-commerce is growing strongly and steadily in Italy. And each year since 2004 there are detailed numbers describing the industry’s advance, thanks to the annual study “E-Commerce in Italy” compiled by the Italian digital agency Casaleggio Associati. The report contains the key metrics and many qualitative aspects of the trade in Italy, and data is building up year by year.

This year the presentation of the report was held in Fondazione Cariplo, a prestigious location in the center of Milan’s central business district, the economic heart of Italy.

Within the Italian online industry this study is an important indicator and serves frequently as common ground and shared knowledge among the managers of online-shops, marketeers, logistics operators, payment experts, social media gurus and other insiders. Methodologically, “E-Commerce in Italy 2018” is based on a broad range of instruments, such as a quantitative survey, interviews with industry experts and leaders, various sectoral studies, publications by the trade press and other sources.

As an aside, Casaleggio Associati is the agency behind Beppe Grillo’s blog, the publication at the center of the political movement Movimento 5 Stelle, which emerged from the last Italian parliamentary election as the strongest single party. However, in the context of the professional presentation of this report political topics were left aside.

E-Commerce in Italy is growing steadily at double digits

The study itself deals first and foremost with the growth of the Italian e-commerce market, which grew by 11% from € 31.6 billion in 2016 to € 35.1 billion in 2017. In fact, this number fits in perfectly with the series of near-linear growth seen ever since Casaleggio Associati began recording data in 2004:

E-commerce growth in Italy 2004-2017

E-commerce growth in Italy 2004-2017

As Casaleggio Associati defines the term e-commerce very broadly, it is worth looking at the composition of this overall number in detail. 40% of e-commerce turnover is generated by leisure sector (which corresponds to a large extent with sports betting and online gaming) and 30% by the tourism industry, which is traditionally very important in Italy.

On the other hand, the classic online retail sectors in Italy recorded significant above-average growth: compared to the previous year + 39% for the health and cosmetics sector, + 28% for fashion, + 24% for food and beverages, + 21% for electronics and + 19% for furnishings and living. For the current year, the industry expects even stronger growth: health and cosmetics is expected to grow by + 47% growth, fashion by + 46%, food and beverages by + 43%, furnishings and living by + 40% and electronics by + 27%.

US-American and British e-commerce companies eager to claiming their fair share of future e-commerce growth in Italy are welcome to reaching out to us at Adamans, as we do provide e-commerce advice for Italy, translations and customer service and digital marketing in Italian language.

For 2018, the studies identified four major trends

  • Internationalization and consolidation: Many Italian e-commerce companies are successfully targeting the domestic and non-European market. Conversely, many foreign companies are operating successfully in Italy.
  • Integration of online and offline: In many cases, retail companies in Italy are present with physical retail stores as well as with online shops. It is expected that these separate worlds will slowly converge to unified shopping experiences.
  • Mobile technologies and voice: As elsewhere, mobile traffic has outstripped classic desktop traffic in Italy. However, only 27% of E-Commerce transactions can be attributed to mobile. A further increase of mobile is therefore expected, and at the same time Italian online marketeers beliefe that the era of voice search and retail to shall commence very soon.
  • Customer-centric UX design and marketing: Marketing automation and CRM systems are an important topic in Italy, and it is expected that many merchants will invest heavily in these technologies in order to reduce acquisition costs and increase sales.

Another focus of the “e-commerce in Italy 2018” report includes statistics on online marketing in Italy. At around 26% of total spending in 2017, the lion’s share of online advertising spend in Italy consists of investment in Search Engine Advertising (SEM), followed by 16% for social media, 15% for SEO and 15% for E-Mail.

Allocation of marketing spend 2017

Allocation of marketing spend 2017

Investment in social media is expected to grow significantly this year, as the majority of companies surveyed are planning to invest more in this area.

The full report with many more details on the situation of the Italian e-commerce landscape can be found directly on the web site of Casaleggio Associati. For more background information, a critical interpretation of the presented data, advice on e-commerce in Italy, help setting up your Italian online shop with translations and customer service or digital marketing in Italy please do contact us.

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