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E-commerce in Italy in 2019: news and growth prospects
That Italian e-commerce is one of the most ambitious markets on a global scale is not a secret at all, but a well-known fact for some time now. Where in Western countries it is a sector that has now developed at full speed, in the Bel Paese there are still obstacles and difficulties to be overcome.
E-COMMERCE PERSPECTIVES IN ITALY
These factors, however, offer all interested parties the opportunity to exploit Italian e-commerce with only one intention: to earn, to grow, to develop. The value of the overall sales deriving from e-commerce, in fact, grows year after year in an almost inexorable way, ensuring to all the operators of the e-commerce of superlative earnings to say the least. In short, the e-commerce sector in Italy is not yet saturated at all. Just take into consideration any e-commerce company that operates in Italy and invoices from 100 thousand to 12 million euros on an annual basis, all online, selling its products not only in Italy, but even throughout the world. Like it or not, e-commerce opens up many doors and different possibilities for Italian producers. The years 2017 and 2018 were already very important for the growth of e-commerce in Italy. In terms of conversion rates, statistics and so on, there is no doubt that these were the years that led to the growth of e-commerce in Italy. A growth that, however, still has not settled completely as the data show and as evidenced by the Casaleggio report on the prospects of e-commerce in Italy in 2019 (and also in subsequent years). The report itself can be read at the link https://www.casaleggio.it/focus/rapporto-e-commerce-in-italia-2019/. To all this is added the fact that even today Made in Italy is a rather powerful brand. The fashion of Italian products has not yet disappeared at all and our products are in demand all over the world. The only pity is that even today Italian entrepreneurs continue to look at the world through the filter of the past. According to the Casaleggio report itself, in fact, Italian producers find it hard to accept a dynamic and rapidly expanding reality such as that relating to e-commerce. Even today it seems something abstract, too futuristic and not very pragmatic. Yet the one offered by the e-commerce sector is nothing more than a fantastic opportunity to earn by giving an edge to your business. If e-commerce is so well exploited abroad that it brings to American or British companies an extraordinary annual turnover, why should it fail in Italy, especially considering that sales on the web in the Bel Paese are increasing more and more?
In the USA alone, the number and value of sales on the web has already largely exceeded the number of offline sales: this is a trend that can be observed on a global scale. Something inevitable that will also touch Italy: it is only a matter of time.
ITALIAN STATISTICS RELATING TO E-COMMERCE
Very few know this, but purchases of Italian products are increasing all over the world. 65% is due to exports and in particular Italian fashion items are purchased. A sector that in the past has been too underestimated and nowadays even represents an important workhorse in the sector, offering numerous earning opportunities to all interested parties. The stock market values of Italian stocks are increasing where companies are committed to quality e-commerce. Even the beauty sector is certainly one of those to which a lot of attention must be paid, trying to develop e-commerce in a manner appropriate to the times. However, there are also many Italian brands - and even entire sectors - that do not believe at all in the potential of e-commerce. This undoubtedly creates a brake on the entire system which therefore attempts to achieve the same objectives that have already been achieved for several years in other industrialized Western countries. Despite this, online shopping in sectors such as cosmetics are still growing (only in the two-year period 2018-19 it grew by 25%). Italian e-commerce users amount to 4.7 million and by 2020 this number will rise to 17.2%. In addition, in Italy, online purchases are quite balanced and well balanced between the two genders. Men, in fact, make 50.5% of purchases on the web; women 49.5% (this considering that two years ago women made more than 65% of online purchases). In total, 323 million euros were spent online in 2018 and this figure is expected to rise in 2019. Only in the furniture sector, sales reached the threshold of 900 million euros (estimates also reported by the Casaleggio and issued by the duo Netcomm + Politecnico). To all this we must also add the significant positive data of a sector that has always been very important in Italy, such as tourism. Even today Italy is the most searched nation on the web. There are many people who want to spend their holidays in the Bel Paese. Yet even today it is only the fifth destination after the most coveted countries: France, USA, Spain and China. The total amount of tourism in Italy is equal to 55.2 billion euros; 1/5 of these derive from the digital environment. Finally, we cannot really forget about everything related to catering and food and wine, a sector of very high potential which, however, still represents the tail-end in the digital world. The market itself is worth 812 million euros, but can increase further thanks to innovative food delivery services.
FORECASTS FOR 2019
The general trend is that which points to the constant increase of the influence of e-commerce in people's lives and Italy is not far behind . According to the Casaleggio report on the e-commerce sector for 2019, it is reasonable to expect at least a 15% increase in this sector .
Moreover, this is a figure that could further increase thanks to services such as geoblocking, dynamic pricing, VAT harmonization, as well as new promotions and offers from low cost airlines. The dynamic prices and the increased interest of Italians in the e-commerce sector could give a further boost to the entire sector. In fact, an increase in purchases by some people could reflect in a rather positive way on the entire online sales sector, since the more people buy, the more they get used to what is now a very developed sector and destined to grow further. . Moreover, not only is an increase in interest in online purchases expected, but also an increase in conversion rates, so much so that in some cases the increase in these rates could exceed 25% of the total. Nevertheless, in order to obtain good profits from e-commerce, it will still be necessary to operate according to precise marketing rules in order to guarantee constant and balanced growth. This means that those interested in exploiting all the potential of e-commerce will in any case have to pay close attention to factors such as the site, its attractiveness and the user experience which still today represents one of the key factors for selling more in constant manner. In fact, web marketing doesn't exist at all if you don't think about managing the marketing side of your e-shop first. In reality, this is quite a practice, however, not only for e-commerce, but also for physical stores. How do you want to earn on the sales of your products if you don't take care of the promotional side?
To increase the conversion rates of your store and fully exploit the potential of e-commerce , it is advisable to collaborate with professionals in the sector: those who are able to take care of e-commerce marketing in every aspect.
In some cases the increases in conversion rates and other factors related to online sales will be smaller, in others greater. However, for better or worse there will still be an improvement and it is worth taking advantage of it. Due to the Italian difficulties in the sector, even in 2019 there will still be many e-commerce sites in crisis due to a lack of precise identity , due to wrong values or wrong strategies. As already mentioned, e-commerce in Italy is a sector that still needs to improve. Don't just pay attention to the price, as marketing is not the only price. In this, Italy is still backward.
Finally, we cannot really forget about everything concerning the number of companies operating in the Italian territory in the e-commerce sector. These, in fact, are increasing precisely because more and more entrepreneurs try to exploit all the potential offered by the web. Today around 19,026 companies operate in Italy and this number is expected to increase (approximately + 11%). Already at the beginning of 2020 in the Bel Paese there could be more than 20,000 companies operating in the web marketing sector. The market, therefore, is destined to become saturated over the years, which is why if you are interested in fully exploiting all the potential of the sector, you have to hurry up. In fact, in a few years, the e-commerce market in Italy could already be saturated and the opportunities to make money would decrease due to competition.
Author: Stefania Tamberlani
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Stefania Tamberlani commercial, organizational and administrative hub of Arte e Informatica deals with relationships with customers and suppliers. He has a high level of knowledge in the configuration and management of the Joomla and PrestaShop platforms, from the configuration of payment methods to couriers, passing through the management of the catalog and orders.