By Maëlle Alquezar

E-commerceIn Italy, online sales are estimated to soar by 17% in 2013 to around 11.2 million euros (i.e. £9.59 million). Several sectors have experienced positive growth such as clothes (27%), IT (24%), food (18%), tourism (13%), insurance (12%) and publishing (4%). These figures were predicted by the Observatory eCommerce B2c Netcomm-School of Management del Politecnico di Milano.

The study revealed that exports have grown by 23% in Italy. The clothes sector and the tourism industry were particularly successful with growths of 31% and 55% respectively. The Mobile industry has experienced the most significant growth with a 160% increase to 427 million euros (i.e. £366 million).

The number of active e-buyers soared by 50% from 2012 to the end of April, reaching 13.6 million users. The number reached its peak at Christmas with 14 million e-shoppers.

E-commerce still offers great opportunities for companies in Italy. A survey conducted by ContactLab aimed to compare e-shopping habits among people from five different countries: Italy, the UK, Germany, France and Spain. According to this survey, around 89% of Italians carry out research online about companies and products but only 34% buy online. By contrast, 50% of Spanish users and 90% of UK users buy online.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

The survey showed that Italy is likely to experience a large amount of growth given that 8% of Italians who have never bought online yet are planning to try for the first time over the 12 coming months. Among the users that want to start buying online, 50% don’t know exactly when they are going to take action.

It also appears that mistrust towards online payments has been overcome thanks to prepaid debit cards according to 48% of the respondents. However, Paypal is the preferred payment method among the other countries: 68% of British users and 55% of French users use them. In Germany, 48% of users said they prefer bank transfers. In the case of requiring a refund, users from different countries are not expecting the same services. While Italian people favour a replacement of the faulty item without any additional cost, Spanish users are looking for readily available and reliable customer service.

Do you agree with the results from this study? Tell us about your experience of shopping online.

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