Ecommerce in Italy: facts & stats you need to know

Ecommerce in Italy: facts & stats you need to know

Global online sales of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) are growing 4 times faster than offline sales. So much so that total global ecommerce sales are estimated to reach 400 billion dollars by 2022. And data tell us that ecommerce in Italy is growing alongside. According to experts, in the next few years we’ll see a greater penetration of this purchase method in consumers’ lives.

Thinking about expanding your online business to Italy? 

Before anything else you may want to:

  • Understand industry trends
  • Identify consumer needs
  • Analyze the market and competitors

As a translator, I’m committed to help international entrepreneurs localizing and optimizing their content:

  • Product pages
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • Marketing campaigns
  • etc.

In this article, you’ll find the most interesting statistics about ecommerce in Italy. Facts you should consider if you’re expanding to Italy in 2020.

The importance of ecommerce in Italy is growing

Digital has a role in the purchasing process for a growing number of Italians. 35.5 million in 2018 as opposed to the 31.7 million of 2017.

This is what emerges from a research carried out by the Osservatorio Multicanalità, promoted by the Politecnico di Milano School of Management and Nielsen in 2018.

Main innovations in the approach to digital shopping

According to this research, these are the main innovations in the approach to digital shopping and media use:

  1. InfoShoppers (users who go online just to collect and compare information, without buying) grew from 11.1 to 12.4 million.
  2. Money Savers (users who are keen to save money, and compare prices or read other users’ opinions) drop from 5.5 to 5.1 million.
  3. At the same time, eShoppers (who use the Internet at all stages of the purchasing process), grew from 20.6 million to 23.1 million.
  4. Even the Cherry Pickers (users who only occasionally buy online) interrupted the downward trend of 2017; and increased more than all other consumer groups, from 4.3 million to 6.2 million.

In a word, the ecommerce channel penetration is growing. And it’s important especially for some reasons:

  • For starters, the Italian population online today is representative of the entire country. And not just made up by teenagers and millennials.
  • Moreover, it seems like the digital divide between Italy and other EU members is decreasing.
  • Additionally, the more mature segment of the population has just entered the multi-channel world. And it has a huge impact. In fact it’s precisely this segment who is more willing to spend in Italy.

These are good reasons to expand your ecommerce business and target the Italian market. 

Ecommerce in Italy: stats

In 2019, these are the stats about ecommerce in Italy (Nielsen):

  • Ecommerce sales of goods and services generate over 31 billion euros.
  • FMCG online sales total 1.5 billion euros (growth 31%).

Italian Shopper trends in 2019 

Here are some trending industries in Italy:

Retail vs Ecommerce in Italy

If you’re considering to target the Italian market, there’s something more you should know.

While ecommerce flourishes here, it’s quite impressive to see lots of closed shops when you walk down the streets. Especially in certain areas.

The point is that the modernization of distribution channels is penalizing the traditional retail stores in Italy. On top of that, price competition is high. (Due to the rise of discounts stores in recent years). 

In july 2019 Confesercenti (one of the leading business associations) declared: “Today, compared to 2011, there are 32 thousand stores less; a bleeding that has led to burn at least 3 billion euros of business investment. And this year we estimate that more than 5 thousand businesses will vanish at a rate of 14 per day”.

Even if people tend to buy online, this doesn’t mean physical points of sale have lost their importance. Bricks and mortar stores close because of the high operating costs. Undoubtedly they are still crucial. As their ability to communicate and position brands has no equal.

Some days ago I visited one of the Velasca retail stores in Rome. What impressed me was the big crowd in the shop, while other stores around were empty. The young sales assistant handled this mess with absolute calm, as if he was used to it. “Unlike the others, they have a strong online presence”, I thought.

In conclusion…

Now it’s time to start selling your products or services to Italian consumers.

Depending on your industry, you can consider integrating a physical store (or even a pop-up shop) into your digital strategy.

And don’t forget to contact me for the localization of your website! 😉