E-commerce continued to perform well in Italy in 2021 as more and more consumers appreciated the convenience, safety, precision and speed provided by this format of shopping. Indeed, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic contributed strongly to the development and growth of e-commerce in the country, with many existing and new users increasingly prone to buying goods online.
Traditional domestic retailers are having a hard time catching up with international e-commerce giants and pure online players. Although e-commerce is the highest item on the agenda of most Italian retailers, many still face huge difficulties in adapting to this dynamic channel shift and blending their physical and online presence.
Home delivery, promotional offers and product assortments are the main advantages of e-commerce for many Italian consumers. On the other hand, shipping costs and the lack of "physical experience" within the store are the two biggest barriers that hinder Italian consumers from choosing the channel.
More players are expected to enter the fray in the forecast period, with a huge number of new companies already starting to offer e-commerce services during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many physical retailers expanded into e-commerce with the primary aim of selling stock from their physical retail outlets during periods of lockdown and home seclusion, many will retain their e-commerce presence – or even make a complete switch to e-commerce – in order to compete with the newly increased demand for digital services in the aftermath of the global health crisis.
COVID-19 accelerated the development of e-commerce across all industries in 2020 and 2021. Indeed, the shopping habits of many Italian consumers have been changed permanently by the pandemic experience.
Companies are set to continue to invest in logistics to further penetrate the retailing space in Italy, where the development of e-commerce has lagged behind some other Western European countries. For example, Amazon has launched Prime Now in Milan, the second international city after London where the service was launched.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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