Opportunities for ecommerce companies in Italy

Opportunities for ecommerce companies in Italy

Italy is a developing ecommerce market in Europe. But although it’s lagging behind on some other European markets, the online retail industry of Italy has lots to offer. Let’s take a look at the opportunities for European ecommerce companies in Italy.

Italy is one of the fastest growing online markets in Europe, with an average growth between 10 and 19 percent in the period 2015-2019. Ecommerce in Italy was worth 31.5 billion euros in 2019 and is expected to have grown over 15 percent during 2020 (predictions were made pre-covid).

A study conducted by Businessexpansion.it, commissioned by the embassy of the Netherlands in Italy, shows the different opportunities this fast-growing ecommerce market has to offer for Dutch companies, but these, of course, can also apply to other European companies looking to expand in Italy.

Online marketplaces

Researcher Jurjen Hallegraeff says it’s very appealing for online consumers in Italy to make use of online marketplaces. This is because of their ease of use, the broad offer, trustable services and low or free shipping. “It can be a great opportunity for online companies to enter the Italian market by offering their products on an existing platform, such as eBay.it or Amazon.it”, he writes. “The advantages are the low entry prices, large range of potential customers and little to no product translations needed.”

It’s very appealing for online consumers in Italy to make use of online marketplaces.

Online payment solutions

In Italy, there are only a few online payment service providers active. The local Nexi.it as well as the American players Stripe and PayPal are examples of the most important payment solutions currently active in Italy. According to the research, there are many opportunities for Dutch gateway providers. “They can offer more local solutions adapted to appeal to the Italian customers as done before in the Netherlands.”

Hallegraeff thinks single online payment solutions, and especially digital wallets and pay-later solutions are examples of realistic opportunities in Italy. “In both fields, Dutch companies already have very strong solutions which can be implemented very well in Italy.”

Online fulfillment

Businessexpansion.it says most Italian merchants handle their own warehouses for their online business. But Dutch companies are much more experienced when it comes to e-fulfillment, so they can support Italian merchants with their warehousing, shipping process, handling of returns and customer service.

“We can see three opportunities for Dutch companies: to offer and implement advanced Warehouse Management Solutions software, to expand their physical location and services to Italy, and to offer Italian merchants to place their stock in the Netherlands for an efficient distribution to Europe.”

There are three opportunities for Dutch companies when it comes to e-fulfillment.

Full service solutions

Everywhere in Europe, solutions that offer a full online service are getting increasingly popular. By giving extra benefits besides just the purchase, customers get a full service. According to Hallegraeff, recently there are even more opportunities for online companies, since the pandemic has pushed a lot of Italian companies to go online. He sees plenty of opportunity for companies such as full service digital agencies, because the local offer in Italy is lagging behind and the number of online merchants and online customers is growing fast.

Last mile

Within the last mile, the researcher sees several specific opportunities for Dutch companies. “One is within the city logistics, namely bicycle couriers. And the other two are within the shipping software solutions”, he writes.

Within the last mile, there are several specific opportunities for Dutch companies.

“There are already several bicycle delivery courier companies in Italy, such as Glovo, Urban Bike Messenger, Ecopony, and PonyZero. And yet there are great opportunities for Dutch bicycle couriers in Italy, as most of these companies have lots of experience with bicycle deliveries over the years.”

When it comes to shipping software, he sees two specific opportunities: price comparison shipping software and courier efficiency route software. Hallegraeff says Dutch companies have years of experience dealing with couriers and customer service and also have very well developed and efficient last-mile courier route software to program the most optimal route for every single driver.

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