During the lockdown, high customer demand has simplified marketing activities. However, after the end of the lockdown, foreign players entered the market and increased advertising competition and, therefore, the complexity of e-commerce, marketplaces, social media, marketing, etc.
How does the case look in Italy? Casaleggio Associati provided us with the report about E-commerce in Italy 2022 – change of pace after the Covid Boom.
The report is based on detailed interviews and surveys with over 250 operators in the Italian market. It is supported by Klarna’s leading partner and Commerce Tools, Taxdoo, and Marlene & Transactionale as partners and by Stripe as a sponsor.
We will tell you something about that today, so stay tuned!
The state of world e-commerce
There are 4.95 billion internet users worldwide (+4.8%YoY), or more than 62% of the world’s population. The majority of world traffic comes from mobile devices (54.79%), followed by desktops (42.73%) and tablets (2.48%).
In the last year, customers spent an average of $1.017 each, an increase of 7.4%. However, world differences remain, with Italians spending $1.290, Hong Kong residents spending $3,183, and Americans spending $3105.
In addition, world e-commerce is expected to reach 5 trillion dollars in turnover by 2022, with one euro out of five spent on online sales.
Next year, e-commerce turnover is expected to reach 4.225.309 million dollars, of which China will generate 1.535.304 million.
The user penetration will be 53.8% in 2022 and should reach 62.4% by 2025.
E-commerce in Italy
Italian e-commerce turnover in 2021 should reach 64.01 billion euros, which is a growth of 33% on an annual basis, thanks to more than 3 million new customers who joined the market in 2020 due to the lockdown.
A typical Italian e-shopper spends 1,608 euros per year on average, which has become significant.
However, most purchases are made from abroad: 67% of users buy online from foreign websites, and most of them purchase through marketplaces: 95% on Amazon, 46% on eBay, and 45% on Zalando.
The average receipt for Italian e-commerce sites is 134.9 euros, although there are great differences between sectors. For example, the Publishing industry has the lowest average receipts (39 euros), while Furniture has the highest (214 euros).
On average, an Italian e-commerce website envisages turnover for 2022 to grow by 34.7%.
Tourism estimates a greater growth (+60%), hoping to recover after the Covid19 lockdowns, followed by Health and Beauty (+49%), which has seen above all pharmaceuticals and is now expanding to products not directly related to the coronavirus.
Greater growth is expected also by:
- Food (+37%),
- Fashion (+36%),
- Home-Office and Furniture (+31%),
- Consumer Electronics (+28%),
- online Shopping Malls (+10%),
- Leisure (+7%),
- and Publishing (+2%).
It’s also interesting that in January 2022, 76.3% of the population (ages 2 and up) had access to the internet (an increase of 1.4% from last year) with 45 monthly unique users and a growth of 300 million users. It is a sign that the growth that was brought by the lockdown of 3.2 million internet users in the previous year has returned to normal.
In continuous evolution, the lockdown has significantly impacted the power balance between sectors. For example, Leisure continues to grow and represents 48% of the company’s revenues. In particular, the growth of online gaming and purchases related to hobbies and sports are responsible for this positive impact.
It still comes mainly from websites (69.5%), but the proportion of other media is growing significantly, in particular marketplaces (17.8%).
Marketplaces are also developing and makes bigger and bigger impact on online selling. In Italy, it dominates the top 20 most popular e-commerce websites.
Among them are:
- Leroy Merlin
- Apple Store
So Italy proves to be the country most familiar with marketplaces given that 98% of online shoppers last year made at least one purchase from them.
In the last year, companies in the marketplaces have reduced the number of their marketplace presences; the majority are present on two or three marketplaces (46% of companies). Fashion and Consumer Electronics reduced the number of marketplaces in which they were available more than any other category.
The social media considered the most effective for Italian e-commerce is Facebook (26%) – which dropped in the rankings after Instagram (37%) and Whatsapp Business (27%).
What are some predictions for social media investment? Let’s see:
- 55% of Italian companies (-4% than last year) want to increase their investment compared to the previous year.
- Another part of companies decided to keep the same asset is rising (32%, +5% from last year).
- Some companies will reduce their investment during this year (6%).
- And the rest of the companies that don’t plan to invest in social activities in 2022 are still relatively constant (8% compared to 10% last year).
E-commerce Trends in Italy
Several trends that will take hold in 2022 were accelerated last year. Particularly:
- Social Shopping Becomes Live Video Shopping – Some social media platforms that didn’t have purchase functions are adding them, such as Twitter.
- Voice e-commerce – With lockdown, voice assistant use has accelerated, and it is expected to reach 8 billion by 2023 with a 25% growth rate.
- Integrating Physical Shops with Online Shops – Retailers are now designing physical spaces with online business models integrated.
- Augmented Reality – When consumers choose a product, they can see it in its final environment or wear it.
- Installment Payments – Millennials have been using buy-now-pay-later wallets as an alternative to credit cards.
- The Metaverse development – This is the most ethereal trend, but it could have a greater marketing effect on operators who comprehend it.
- E-commerce Sustainability – Sustainability has become an essential factor in many aspects of e-commerce, not only because of requests made by customers but also because of the convenience it brings.
The importance of online marketing
The theme of advertising and marketing becomes central again. 32% of companies interviewed had found the right path to promote their brand. The average acquisition cost in Italy is 34.4 euros, with great differences between sectors. Fashion, for example, is the most expensive business: 93 euros to get a new customer, while Food only needs a 25 euros marketing investment.
Among the marketing activities, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) continues to have the greatest investments (24%), with a higher increase than last year (19%). The following places are.
Also, Italian e-commerce companies take advantage of online marketing automation, and as a result, such automation services need to develop in many directions. The main ones on the rise are:
- Conversational Marketing & Chat (+70%),
- data governance and GDPR process management (+68%),
- project management and workflow (+41%),
- automated management of advertisement on paper (+35%),
- video marketing (+26%),
- and the management of proximity stores (+15%).
A multilingual website is the best way to establish a presence in a foreign market. Individually, some websites have used a specific presence strategy, such as marketplaces in the US.
In 2021, Italian e-commerce companies took up just over half of the global market, while 44% of Italian companies sold only in Italy, up from 49% last year.
Approximately 32% of the total turnover is produced abroad, up from 29% in 2020.
The survey last year reported that overseas sales increased for 53% of the companies involved, remained stable for 33%, and decreased for 14%.
In many countries, the foreign presence is becoming stronger. Over the last year, the specific sectors of Italy (Fashion, Food, and Furniture) entered, in particular, Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Northern Europe, and the USA.
Italian e-commerce companies plan to invest primarily in:
- marketing and advertisement (52%),
- use/optimization of the CRM and marketing automation (33%),
- improving website performance, usability, and user experience (47%),
- improving the technological infrastructure (37%).
Next, companies plan to allocate a budget to improve customer service, customize products offered to the customer and purchase methods, customize delivery and return methods, expand and customize payment methods, and acquire third-party companies or startups to strengthen e-commerce businesses and security systems.
What’s more, Italian e-commerce companies will expand their organizational structure, particularly on:
- Payment Solutions (48%),
- Free shipping/returns (39%),
- Packaging/headquarters/transport/sustainable behaviors (33%),
- Customized Shipping (29%),
- Click & Collect / Locker / Delivery community service (28%),
- and security measures on data protection (7%).
Companies in the shopping mall, home office, furniture, and fashion sectors are particularly interested in payment solutions.
Overt to you
As 2022 will probably be a year of solid acceleration of e-commerce in some areas thanks to a probable reopening of many businesses, Italy certainly has no intention of staying still. Instead, they are betting on e-commerce development, using marketplaces, planning investments, etc. That’s why this market particularly deserves your attention.