Expand into Italy: the booming ecommerce market

Italy is the land of the Mediterranean sunshine, wine and romance. It’s no wonder that a general holiday mood makes vacations and travel tickets the best-sellers among Italian online shoppers. The fact is that the e-commerce market in Italy is thriving and there are gaps that can be exploited by international sellers.

Surprisingly, despite the financial crises that affected Southern European countries, e-commerce in Italy is one of the few areas that experienced a steady growth in the last few years.


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Italy Marketplace 200x300What is the Italian marketplace like?

Italy has had a few problems when it comes to economic growth. The country has been put under a lot of scrutiny scrutiny by financial markets due to high unemployment, high public debt and corruption. Yet, in the face of all these challenges, the fact is that the eCommerce market in Italy is booming and is expected to surpass the European leaders in the coming years!

The Italian marketplace can be associated with:

  • The Italian language
  • One of the fastest growing markets in Western Europe
  • 60% Internet penetration
  • Relatively cash-reliant in terms of payment
  • Easy returns solutions
  • Economic challenges
  • Italians seem to be lagging behind in terms of the use of mobile devices.

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Online sales: basic facts

  • Currently Italy ranks fifth when it comes to online retail sales in Europe.
  • In 2013 online sales in Italy were estimated at EUR 11.2 billion.
  • By 2017 B2C eCommerce sales figures are expected to grow to USD 23.53 billion.
  • International development is one of the trends driving eCommerce in Italy. The market is booming.
  • The growing income disparity and the contrast between the north and the south is likely to present opportunities for online sellers. There is a big demand for cosmetic & fashion brands, high-end products in particular.


Among products and services sold and bought mostly online are:

  • holidays
  • travel tickets
  • clothing
  • consumer electronics
  • media and groceries.

The top cross-border category for online shoppers in 2013 was discount air tickets.


Italy lagged behind other thriving e-commerce markets for many years, but this has changed immensely in the last few years. The B2C delivery has been dominated by Poste Italiane, SDA and Bartolini.

Over half of the Italian buyers are more likely to shop from an online retailer if there is a possibility to collect the article in-store.

Buying behaviour: present & future

  • Of those consumers who have purchased via both an app and a browser, apps are preferred by 53% of smartphone shoppers and 44% of tablet shoppers. Apps seem more convenient (43%), faster (29%) and innovative way to pay (26%).
  • Italian buyers most often engage in product information search (36%) on their smartphones, followed by looking up information about stores and businesses (30%) and browsing customer or user reviews (28%).
  • For the future, Italian consumers are interested in tapping smartphone at cash register to pay (20%), ordering ahead using an add/browser (17%), using an app to make a purchase (15%) and comparing prices (13%).

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Ecommerce in Italy

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