B2C e-commerce market in Italy: we need vison, courage and perseverance!


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  • Date January 16, 2018
  • Observatory eCommerce B2c
  • Language English
  • Type Business Scenario

Responds to...

  • How much is Italian B2C e-commerce (purchases by Italians on domestic and international websites) worth in 2017?
  • What is import worth?
  • What are the reasons underpinning e-commerce growth?
  • How many Italian web shoppers are there? What is their purchasing behaviour?
  • What is the penetration rate of online sales compared to total retail sales for the main product categories?
  • Which are the most common payment tools? And what is the expected impact of innovative tools?
  • How much is mobile e-commerce worth and what are its growth perspectives?
  • What is the value of B2C e-commerce sales from Italian sites (to consumers in Italy and abroad)?
  • What is the position played by traditional companies within Italian B2C e-commerce?
  • How concentrated is the offer?
  • Which are the main directions of innovation in the field of B2C e-commerce?


We expect the value generated from online purchases worldwide to be over 2 trillion euros in 2017 and that the main markets will be China, USA and Europe. A number of factors significant for e-commerce have been making their mark in 2017. First of all, many alliances were struck between e-commerce merchants and a variety of operators (other non-e-commerce merchants, traditional retailers and technological service providers). In second place, 2017 was the year when a number of technological trends took hold, having the aim of simplifying the online customer experience. In addition, many e-commerce events have gained “sacred” status, including Single Day in China and Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the USA. Lastly, this was a year of fierce debate about the implications of online commerce on the traditional sector.
Our perception is that we are at a momentous juncture of discontinuity that is not simple to interpret or, as a consequence, to overcome. This is especially true for the Italian market.
In 2017, online shopping by Italians grew by 17% and is now worth more than 23.6 billion euros. Products (worth 12.2 billion euros) grew by 28% in 2017, and, for the first time, this sector is above services (+7%, 11.4 billion euros). Tourism confirms its place as primary sector (9.2 billion euros, +7%), followed by Computing & Consumer Electronics (4 billion euros, +28%) and Clothing (2.5 billion euros, +28%). There are now 22 million web shoppers, 10% more in 2017 than previously.
In 2017, one third of e-commerce purchases, value-wise, were made on a smartphone or tablet. The share of purchases using these devices has increased five-fold in just five years and mainly comes from smartphones, which generated over 5.8 billion euros, up by 65%.
A particular aspect of the Italian market is the dominant role played by dot-coms, which in 2017 make up 60% of total e-commerce sales and are growing at more than double the rate of traditional companies.


  • Key Questions
  • Abstract
    1. Study segmentation: comparison between studies
    2. Organisational change
    3. Technologies and services
    4. Final summary
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