It’s no mystery that retail sales in Italy are stagnant, if not slightly declining. The latest ISTAT data available, September, shows a decrease of 0.1% compared to August and 0.5% compared to the previous year.
E-commerce in Italy is now an important reality that in 2014 is worth 14.6 billion euros, in strong growth: in the last seven years has grown by 15-20% each year. Italian consumers have moved (and continue to move) part of their spending capacity online, despite the more traditional offline trade.
There are many reasons why Italian consumers are buying more and more online, and these are not only to be found in economic convenience, which is however as important as in any commercial transaction. The convenience of buying online also passes from & nbsp;convenience of shopping in idle time or when it passes through their mindinstead of adding those purchases to the list of things to do, the completeness of the product information which cannot always be obtained at the point of sale, reduced access capacity to the product especially in rural areas, smaller towns or abroad and the variety of choice and completeness of range,immensely larger online.
And it’s just the beginning. E-commerce in Italy accounts for about 3% of retail sales, a quarter of what it is worth in more digitally advanced countries such as the USA, the UK, France or Germany. All the indicators and trends bode well for the long-lasting development of this already fast-growing market. Despite all this, many Italian entrepreneurs and companies, especially small and medium enterprises, do not seem – inexplicably – yet to attack this part of the retail market in a massive way..
Too few Italian companies are still in charge of the domestic market, leaving ground for foreign companies, which from more advanced markets reach Italian consumers online every day, and not grasping the potential that e-commerce also offers in the export field.
During the Christmas season alone, Italian sellers selling on eBay. have exported almost half a million products, up to 20% on the previous year, to countries as far away as China, the United States, Russia and LatAm but also much closer and easier to reach as France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. This shows that some Italian companies already compete online in their country of origin and that, through international marketplaces, they can also use e-commerce to reach consumers and markets that have never tried to reach before in an easier and more efficient way than the traditional offline distribution.
E-commerce today represents a risk for the for Italian SMBs. The risk is not to be there..