Spotlight On: The Growth of Italian eCommerce
Italy is one of the fastest growing eCommerce markets in Europe, with over $15 billion USD revenue this year across all online product categories.
There has been significant growth in the Italian eCommerce market over the past few years, higher than many other European countries. If eCommerce sales continue to climb, Italy could soon reach France’s 10% penetration rate, representing a great opportunity for foreign retailers.
The Italian eCommerce market is very specific, and is predominantly driven by shoppers in Milan and Rome. Buying behaviors also differ between the north and south of Italy - in the north, shoppers only have an hour lunch break in their 9am-6pm work day, whereas those in the south work from 9am-1pm, then again from 4-8pm. This means hours of online purchases may vary by region.
Right now there are currently 19.09 million online shoppers in Italy, with an additional 1.99 million shoppers expected to be online by 2022. Four years from now, these 21.08 million shoppers will spend an average of $1,000 USD online.
It is no surprise that Italian shoppers love fashion - it is the most popular online shopping category, with sales estimated to total $4.75 billion USD this year. Italian shoppers are also very savvy when it comes to finding a great price, and is the top reason shoppers say they buy cross-border (53%). One-third (33%) of Italian online shoppers like to buy cross-border because they can find more products, 25% are looking for a specific brand, 17% trust the retailer's country for payments and delivery, and 11% out of curiosity.
One of the most common mistakes that retailers make when selling to Italy is not investing in localization of the website. Italian shoppers want to see pricing in € Euro with commas instead of full stops in the pricing. They want the site and checkout language to be in Italian, and above all, want to see their favorite payments when they click to buy.
PayPal is the most common payment method for eCommerce transactions in Italy with 42% market share. Prepaid cards (24.5%) and credit cards (17%) are the second and third most popular, respectively. Italian shoppers also like to pay on delivery, however this form of payment is not always common on international sites.
When it comes to shipping and delivery, Italian online shoppers expect to see delivery options and a fully landed cost early in the purchase process. According to a UPS study, 54% of Italian online shoppers wanted more flexibility around delivery, and 97% want the ability to track their packages. As more Italian shoppers move online, their delivery expectations, particularly around speed, will also grow. Today's consumers expect international retailers to provide a great online shopping experience, all the way to delivery.
According to Royal Mail’s ‘Delivery Matters’, more than half (55%) of all Italian online shoppers expect free delivery, and 60% say expensive delivery charges would make them abandon their cart.
It's clear then that logistics should be an important consideration for international retailers wishing to do business in Italy. Because of the expanse of the country, from The Alps to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it is crucial for retailers to work with reliable logistics partners to deliver to shoppers regardless of their location cost effectively and in a timely manner.
Shoppers should feel right at home when they land on a brand’s website. This means they should see their own currency, country and delivery options local to their region.