November 4, 2019 Statistics

The Italian e-commerce is valued € 31.6 billion in 2019

According to the research of the eCommerce B2c Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano, the Italian e-commerce is valued € 31.6 billion in 2019.

The value increases by 15% (+ € 4.1 billion) compared to 2018. As per other more advanced countries, the e-commerce in Italy has become fundamental in the development and promotion of highly innovative retailing models.

In 2019, the incidence of the B2C e-commerce on total retail sales goes from 6.5% to 7.3%, with a significant difference between products (6%) and services (11%). Although it still represents a small part of the total purchases, the e-commerce is the driver for 65% of the overall retail growth: the online purchases grow by 15%, compared to and overall retail growth of 1.5%.

Most of the e-commerce growth is originated by the purchases of products, which reach a value of € 18.1 billion (+ 21%), thanks to 281 million orders and an average basket of approx. € 66. B2C e-commerce deliveries, excluding returns, reach the record of 318 million.

Results are positive for both the more “traditional” e-commerce sectors (IT and electronics: + 19% representing € 5.3 billion; clothing: + 16% representing € 3.3 billion), and emerging ones (furniture & home living: + 30% representing € 1.7 billion; food & grocery: + 42% representing € 1.6 billion).

Newspapers exceed € 1 billion (+ 8%), while purchases of other product categories amount overall to € 5.2 billion, up 21% compared to 2018. Between these other categories, the main ones are auto parts for a value of € 760 million (+ 24%), toys with € 602 million (+ 18%), and beauty for a value of € 568 million (+ 27%).

Services, on the other hand, seem to be closer to the maturity phase in the online world: with an increase of almost € 1 billion (+ 8%), online purchases of services are valued € 13.5 billion, thanks to 60 million orders and an average receipt of approx. € 228.

Tourism and transport, with € 10.9 billion, is still the leading Italian e-commerce sector, whilst online purchases of insurance policies are worth € 1.5 billion (+ 6%).

Other services are valued € 1.1 million, in line with the 2018. The main categories are event ticketing and telephone top-ups.

In 2019, 40% of the online purchases occur by smartphone (it was 34% in 2018), representing € 12.5 billion, with an increase of 33% compared to 2018. The desktop is still the preferred device for shopping online, but it decreases its share from 60% in 2018 to 55% in 2019. The tablet goes from 6% to 5%.

The smartphone represents the primary device for 50% of the purchases in clothing, 49% in furnishing and home living and 48% in beauty.

Looking at services, the smartphones are used less, and in particular in 18% of the cases for insurance policies and 27% of the cases for tourism and transport. This is probably due to the more complex purchasing process and the higher average receipt.

An additional analysis was performed on the geography of purchases.

In 2019, the value of sales from Italian sites to foreign consumers (defined as “exports”), is € 4.4 billion (+ 13% compared to 2018), representing 15% of the total e-commerce sales.

The exports of services, amounting to approx. € 1.4 billion (+ 12% compared to 2018), are mainly related to the tourism sector.

The exports of products are valued approx. € 3 billion, and grow by 13%. Clothing represents approx. two-thirds of product exports, followed by furniture & home living (6%), IT and consumer electronics (5.5%), beauty (4%) and food & grocery (3%).

The main destinations of exports are Europe (58% in value) and USA (20%). Asia follows, with China (4%), Japan (3%), and Russia (3%).


You can find more statistics on the e-commerce in Italy at this LINK (in Italian)

For more info on the eCommerce B2c Observatory at Politecnico di Milano visit the following: