The digital landscape is set to modify the overall customer and retailer experience in Italy over the forecast period. For example, the digital channel will allow businesses to develop a better understanding of their customers, through the use of artificial intelligence systems and client relationship management.
Spurred on by the developments seen in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, retailers are expected to place a greater focus on an omnichannel approach to retailing, with the online and offline worlds likely to become increasingly blurred. Many companies will likely shift from larger outlets on the outskirts of cities to smaller inner-city store fronts with digital catalogues, from which consumers can order goods to be delivered to their home.
Italy has one of the highest levels of internet access through smartphones across Western Europe. Italians are increasingly use their smartphones for a variety of actions, such as communicating, shopping, executing payments and controlling smart home devices.
Italian consumers are increasingly embracing the digital world, with the lockdown changing the way many people experienced their daily life. This included having goods and services delivered directly to their home, as well as through the launch of online digital services.
Grocery retailing is expected to become even more prominent within the digital landscape heading into the forecast period, after strong growth across the review period and especially in 2020. Grocery retailers of all sizes have been launching their own online shopping portals and have increased their online presence, including through social media.
Amazon was one of the big winners from the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy in 2020, with the lockdown and subsequent restrictions forcing more consumers online. In response, the online giant introduced many more services for consumers, as it looked to take advantage of the sudden spike in demand.
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