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Why expand to Italy?

We’ve heard many great stories about Italy and doing business there, but are the stories true? Is Italy really a growth market open for international business expansion? Why should we expand our business to Italy? Find here the relevant answers why to expand to Italy, details on the Italian market, find potential customers and more.

International business expansion Italy

The online market in Italy has a total value of €27 billion on a population of over 60 million people, as calculated over 2019. In the last four years (2015-2019) the online market has grown wth an average of 18% per year. So each year there is a growth of €4 billion extra! The biggest online B2C market is tourism, followed by the fashion industy and multimedia. The activities in the service sector are showing signs of maturation and the market for e-commerce is growing rapidly each year. In Italy there are 24 million online customers, 18 million of which are regular buyers.

Italians prefer to purchase via desktop pc (62%) followed by the use of a smartphone (31%). They incline to order at big platforms like Amazon, eBay or Zalando. Connecting platforms such as Google Shiping or Trovaprezzi are very popular as well. The preferred choice for delivery is still the home delivery, however dropboxes are growing as a serious alternative. The biggest population online is between 25-54 years. The Italian e-commerce market has a rate of 70% market penetration (source:


Facts and figures of the Italian online market

4 billion average growth

4 billion anual growth

62% customer buy by pc

62% Italians purchase by computer

Big market places are popular

Online marketplaces are popular

Italy has 27 billion turnover

Over €27 billion online market turnover

Online Italian population

Average age online is between 25-54 years

18 million regular buyers

18 million regular online byers

Besides these astonishing and promising numbers, the Italian market faces some challenges and some chances. For example, the geography. Italy is a very stretched out country consisting of big cities, rural areas with low population and several islands. Deliveries to remote regions can take longer and cost more. And Italy has one of the most complex jurisdiction and tax systems of Europe. When opening an office in italy one has to take all this into consideration and prepare accordingly.

"Italy has the fastest growing e-commerce market in Europe"

Luckily the chances are also great. Italy is the leading e-commerce market in South Europe and the fastest growing e-commerce market in Europe. At the moment Italy is rated the 5th ecommerce market in Europe and expected to rise to the 4th place. The expected growth rate for the coming years is at least 10.4% and probably more (source:

Regular online buyers
25 st
Fastest growing market
0 %
Market penetration
0 billion
Average growth

The habits of the Italian ecommerce customer

Italian customers can be indecisive and take a long time before making an actual purchase. They like to use a Wishlist in stores or save products for later. They have a greater need for personal social contact with the company compared to other European customers. Sometimes only because they question the fact and want to be sure that the website stands for an actual person and company.

In the year 2019 the Italian ecommerce market is still showing signs of a growth-market, which means that the online customers are sensitive to the best prices and lowest offers. A good method to convince customers to make purchase is free shipping. Also commercial holidays such as Black Friday, Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s day are times of great e-commerce transactions.

PayPal payments business expansion

PayPal: 56%

The most commonly used method is Paypal (56%), followed by credit cards (32%). Payment by bank transfers and cash on delivery are often requested.

Home delivery in business expansion

Home delivery: 85%

85% of online customers prefer delivery at their home address. At the same time the use of dropboxes is growing every year.

Comments on online businesses expansion

Comments: 61%

61% of users comment or rate their purchases online! This is an incredibly high number compared to other European countries.


Did you know: Italy and cross border business

The video was part of the opening of my presentation of the business day Italy of the Dutch embassy and RVO. I mention here some fun facts about Italy and a few important e-commerce highlights of the market research: finding opportunities for companies in Italy. If you want to know more, please check out the full research that you can find on the HOME page, halfway down this page you find the button: ‘Market research’ to download the full research.



Italy is the fastest growing online market in Europe and the 5th biggest ecommerce marketplace in Europe. There are some challenges to overcome and many chances to find in the ongoing annual growth. Creating a personalized website adapted to the local customs and culture will be crucial to find new potential customers. Our extensive international market knowledge and Italian business experience can help you with your new market entry strategy to Italy. Correct translations, winning marketing strategies and a localized customer care system will make a huge difference to start your business expansion to Italy!

"Let's do this! Can you help us with the Italian part?"

Why expand to Italy? Italy has a great growth potential and is an interesting market for international business expansion. We from Business have years of experience and can support you in many ways to enter the Italian market. We offer reliable local contacts such as translation companies, warehouses, couriers and accountants. We can help you find new potential customers in Italy with the best customer service and digital marketing (for example with newsletters and social media). Click on services and explore our business expansion support.

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