E-commerce in Italy: Facts and Figures 2016

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With sales growth of 16.9%[1] and a turnover of 24.2[2] billion in 2016, Italian e-commerce in currently in a state of continuous growth. The number of online consumers is also increasing: today over 17.7 million regularly purchase online taking the average basket size to the biggest it has ever been.



E-commerce in Italy

Great potential for e-commerce in Italy

The potential for e-commerce in Italy is significant. In 2016 the country estimates that  there are 59.80 million inhabitants[3],of which 63%[3] are Internet users.

Population and Internet users in Italy


Online sales: growth and market share

E-commerce sales growth hit 19%[1] in 2015 and this is set to increase by a further 16.9%[1] in 2016. This growth is visible on the retail trade market, on which online sales represented 2%[3] in 2014. This figure is expected to increase to 3% in 2016, according to the same source.

Online share of retail trade in Italy

Online retailers

Top 10 e-commerce sites in Italy

Of the most visited e-commerce sites in Italy[4] , global players including Amazon, eBay and AliExpress take the top positions. However, Italian retailers were also able to make the top 10, proving that they are gradually making their mark in e-commerce.



Italian consumer behaviour

What do Italian consumers buy and how much do they spend?

Netcomm states that the average basket in Italy is 86€[5]. In general, this is spent on home electronics, clothing and books.

Top product categories in Italy


E-commerce is going global

More and more people are buying products from foreign countries, with Italy reporting that 41% did so in 2015. The top three countries to buy from are the United Kingdom (16%), Germany (15%) and China (8%)[6].

Top 3 countries Italian consumers buy from


Logistics and Italian e-commerce

Top delivery methods in Italy

Delivery to a home or office address is the top delivery method for Italian e-commerce, followed by delivery to a pick-up point which is generally a cheaper option[5].

Top 3 delivery methods


Top payment methods

Italian consumers are somewhat wary about using their credit/debit card online, which consequently only represents 42%[7] of e-commerce transactions. Paypal is the preferred choice with 55%, while prepaid cards come in second place with 51%.

Top 3 online payment methods in Italy



M-commerce in Italy

With more than 80.29 million[3] mobile connections, which represents 134% of the Italian population, mobile commerce is particularly important in Italy.

Number of mobile connections


E-commerce traffic on mobile

Nearly 28% of e-commerce traffic is on a mobile device in Italy. What’s more, 29% of mobile traffic is on tablets and 71% is on smartphones, making them the mobile device of choice for Italian e-consumers[8].

Share of e-commerce traffic per device


Online advertising and e-commerce

Digital advertising spend in Italy

Digital advertising spending increased year-on-year in Italy. In 2015, digital ad spend represented 18% of total advertising spending in France. eMarketer expects that this figure could reach 22.4% by 2019[9].

Share of digital in total media ad spend


What is the future of e-commerce in Italy?

  • The rise of digital advertising presents a huge opportunity for e-commerce players of all sizes. What’s more, Adobe recently announced a decrease in CPCs (-4% between 2014 and 2015) as well as an increase in clicks in Europe (+14% YoY)[10].
  • Italian consumers particularly appreciate the time saving aspect of shopping online (66%) as well as better prices (69%). However, personalisation is still an issue that needs to be addressed, as in other European e-commerce markets.
  • Many online retailers are turning to automated solutions to address this problem and resolve the issues around a lack of skills and time. The time saved by using automated solutions to manage campaigns is then often spent on other business priorities.



[1] Retail Research : Online Retailing Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2016

[2] Casaleggio : E-commerce in Italia 2015

[3] We Are Social: 2016 Digital Yearbook

[4] SimilarWeb : Website Ranking

[5Netcomm : E-commerce Index

[6Postnord: E-commerce in Europe 2015

[7] Nielsen: Connected Commerce

[8] Twenga Solutions : M-commerce in Europe

[9] eMarketer: How does Global Digital Ad Spending vary by Region and Industry ?

[10] Adobe: Digital Advertising Report Q4 2015

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