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Ecommerce in Italy – Are you taking advantage of one of Europe’s fastest growing online markets?

online-sellerEcommerce in Italy – Are you taking advantage of one of Europe’s fastest growing online markets?
Italy is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in Europe, but the number of Italian SME’s selling products online remains below the European average – leaving a gap in the market for international retailers. 

If Italy is one of your target markets, here are a few things to bear in mind…

Italy’s ecommerce market

While Italy’s economy lags behind some of its European neighbours, e-commerce in the country is growing at an explosive pace, registering annual double digit growth year-on-year since 2013.

This uptrend is expected to continue, with B2C, B2B and C2C all growing at a healthy clip.

E-commerce turnover in Italy was estimated to have been around US$32.4 billion in 2018 and is forecast to have grown 10.4% year-on-year in 2019.

Italy’s cross border ecommerce is believed to be worth about $7.7 billion, with the most popular foreign stores in Italy originating in the UK, China and Germany.

Catering to Italian retailers

Selling in Italy means having an understanding of local trends, shopping behaviours and quirks.

For a start, you’ll need to ensure that your ecommerce platform is set up to accept payments from the Italian credit card CartaSi.

CartaSi is the mostly widely used credit card for online purchases, making up roughly 40% of all purchases with over 7 million Italians owning a CartaSi card.

Having a mobile responsive site is also vital, with purchases from smart phones now making up roughly 30% of all online sales.

As for shopping habits, the products most frequently purchased online in Italy are clothing and consumer electronics, followed by media and groceries.

It’s also worth mentioning that Italy is the largest market for luxury goods in Europe – unsurprising given that the nation is the home of brands like Armani, Prada and Gucci.

Digital marketing

Many Italian companies have been slow to adapt to the rise of digital marketing and social media, with over 50% of businesses surveyed in 2018 suggesting they struggled to promote their businesses online.

This leaves a significant opening for foreign e-commerce businesses to capitalise on their local competitor’s often weak digital presence.

Entering the Italian market with a strong digital marketing campaign can help your business secure an early foothold.

In terms of social media, Facebook is the top of the pile, with over 70% of Italian companies using the network to advertise their business.

However for new entrees in the market, Instagram may be the way to go, as it’s currently the fastest growing social network and is seen as having the highest consumer engagement of all the social platforms.

Save money when converting international payments

Whenever you expand your online store into other countries you’ll have to consider how best to repatriate your earnings.

With our handy online service you can manage your payments online 24/7 and benefit from the support of a personal account manager.

Our multi-currency accounts are a simple and cost-effective solution for scaling your business internationally. With a more efficient process for converting revenue from marketplaces like Amazon you have greater control over the timing and cost of your payments. You’ll also receive highly competitive exchange rates, helping you maximise profits.

If you wish to discuss your transfer options, give our currency experts a call on +44 20 7847 9400.  

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