What is the current economic status in Italy? You would presumably answer this question with two simple words: financial crisis. These have been the incontestable keywords associated with this country over the last few years. Would you be surprised to realize that despite the intensive financial crisis, Italy is currently the second largest e-commerce market in Southern Europe?
Since 2010, Amazon has successfully established its business in Italy, replacing eBay Italy as the country’s largest e-commerce website, with an online retail market share of 14.4%. This strategic establishment has had a positive impact on its already well-settled marketplace in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands.
Italy is the fastest growing market in Western Europe
Mariangela Marseglia, Amazon’s current country manager for Italy, believes in the country’s thriving destiny: she declared that the Italian market offers great future potential.
Mariangela provides an in-depth look at the numbers that Amazon has recorded over the last 7 years of occupying the Italian market. She reveals that the total amount of investments approaches €1.6 billion and out of this, €800 million have been invested in 2018 alone.
Looking at the numbers for 2019, Amazon’s strategy still includes high-value investments to maintain a fast and robust market growth in Italy.
In comparison with other advanced European countries, the current internet penetration in Italy is relatively low. In fact, the latest statistics count an internet user penetration rate of 69.59%. However, the Italian government seems poised to invest in a more modern digital structure. This will boost the internet penetration growth with an inevitable ripple effect on the e-commerce sector.
Are you considering Italy as a potential marketplace for your e-commerce business?
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or rather: when in Italy, sell as Italians sell”
- Karolina Kulach on Webinterpret
Whether you are an online retailer currently operating a business in this country, or your next marketing strategy is leading your business there, a deep and detailed picture of the Italian market is must-have, as well as perfect knowledge of its buyer’s behavior.
What makes buyer behavior in Italy so specific?
- According to the e-commerce foundation, an Italian e-commerce buyer spends around €938 per year, and the current average order value is €75.
- Generally, buyers are flexible in terms of shipping expectations. On one hand, they are willing to wait 3-5 days. On the other hand, they expect shipping to be free, or at the very least at a low rate.
- Italian buyers are usually uncertain whether to finalize a purchase or not. They tend to visit a website at least 5 times before placing an order.
- The Wishlist feature is commonly used so that shoppers can review the list later and reevaluate their choices. Make sure your website offers this capability.
- Mobile applications are preferred by 53% of smartphone shoppers and 44% of tablet shoppers.
- The return rates are 40% for the e-commerce fashion industry, 15% for electronics and 5% for general goods. A simplified return policy is essential.
Three fundamental elements drive Italian clients to finalize an online purchase: trust, security, and loyalty. The country is quickly improving the online purchase experience, giving buyers concrete motives to increase their faith and trust in this practice.
How do Italians search for information before purchasing a product?
Some statistics reveal a singular characteristic of Italian buyers: impulsiveness. In fact, the consumer barometer demonstrates that 83% of online buyers do not perform any research before making their purchase.
Although, when they decide to collect information about a specific product, they seem to follow two main strategies:
- 66% seek out a friend’s advice, heed word of mouth recommendations, or pay an actual visit to physical shops
- 59% turn to internet research, mainly surfing through the brand’s website
What products would boost your business on Amazon.it?
Easy and high access to international products has contributed to increasing demand and online purchases. The sudden availability of foreign brands and products has opened the door to a plethora of new selections rarely offered by local sellers.
Taking into consideration the latest statistics in terms of most purchased products in Italy, the product categories with the highest demand are home/electronics and clothes/footwear at 31%, followed by books at 28%, cosmetics with 17%, building and gardening material at 15%, sports and car accessories at 12%, and children’s items at 11%.
According to Forbes, in Italy, the fashion industry is worth 5% of the retail market. In e-commerce, the value of this market is worth over €1.8 billion.
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Despite its well-known financial crisis, Italy has established its e-commerce market as one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Amazon has increased the power of its influence and made high-value investments, ending up exhibiting a robust impact on this market. Other e-commerce websites are contributing as well, helping to speed up the establishment of online shopping in Italy: ebay.it, zalando.it, subito.it, casa.it, and trovaprezzi.it.
Something to keep in mind is that the fashion market demonstrates its ever-important status by holding a leading position in the e-commerce market, together with home and electronics product categories.
The mobile e-commerce market is impacting the future of e-commerce in Italy, but elsewhere as well. Any online retailer should take this into consideration while planning and optimizing their website.
Keeping up with strategies to improve your shipping, in terms of cost and speed, is a key factor.
The payment method should fulfill the client’s need. You need to encourage trust. If the buyers are unable to find their preferred payment method or they do not find it trusted, they may abandon your site.
Having said that, this is not only a country to consider for the present, but also (and perhaps most importantly) for the future of your e-commerce business.