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  • How does e-commerce to Italy work? We tell you!

Export from Switzerland

How does e-commerce work in Italy? We’ll explain it to you here.

Making e-commerce successful with Italy - we explain you everything!

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Be well prepared for the e-commerce Italy market

If you want to capture the international market, preparation is the key. Without an internationalization strategy, it will be difficult.

With the strategy, you can find out how to increase the average number of visitors from 12,500 to 370,000 with a country-specific website and an adapted offer.

In this blog, we give you important information about the market potential in Italy and the e-commerce trends in that country. You will also find out how to adapt your website and your shipping service perfectly to the wishes of your Italian customers.

Download country report



Italy is well suited as an entry market

Italy is an ideal entry market for cross-border e-commerce because of its language and its close geographical location to Switzerland. However, this is not the only advantage. According to estimates, 38% of orders in Italy in 2018 were from abroad.

The share of cross-border online shoppers in Italy is therefore relatively high compared to other European countries.


Italians trust Swiss online shops

More precisely and in concrete figures: 257,000 Italian customers placed an order in a Swiss online shop in 2018. The potential is huge, as 4 million Italians can envisage ordering something in Switzerland.

Italians consider Swiss online shops to be very trustworthy and secure – 24% of those surveyed would even recommend Swiss online shops to others.

Also good to know: In Italy, the average online spending per customer and year abroad is EUR 481.


Fulfil the wishes of Italian customers

If you want to be successful in the Italian market, you have to fulfil the wishes of Italian customers and know the e-commerce trends in Italy. We’ve compiled the most important information for you here:


What do Italians buy online?

Cross-Border Online Shopping ItalySource: Country Report Italy

Italian customers mainly buy fashion items, electrical goods, home and garden products and cosmetics online from foreign online shops. 25% of Italian customers say that they ordered fashion items when shopping online.

The reason for this is also interesting: Italians cited low price, availability and wide selection as the main reasons for shopping abroad. In addition, Italians believe that products from Switzerland are of high quality.


Is your product suitable for the Italian market? Find out here.


Design your online shop with Italian customers in mind

First, briefly consider which devices Italians prefer:



As you can see, most Italian customers make their purchases on the Internet via a PC or laptop.

However, around 25% of Italians shop via their smartphone – and the trend is rising.

That’s why it’s important that you optimize your website for mobile use or possibly even create an app.


You won't get far in Italy without PayPal.

The payment options are very important for your customers. They have a significant influence on whether customers will use your online shop or not. Generally, the more payment options, the better.

But this is not always so easy to implement in practice. Therefore, first limit yourself to the most frequently used and desired means of payment. Here’s an overview:

Payment method-Cross-Border orders-Italy


Also interesting: 64% of retailers rate the non-payment risk of Italian customers as low or very low. 62% of Italian customers say that a landed costs calculator at the checkout is very important to them.


Mailing and logistics

As you have seen in the table, most products ordered abroad are light and small.

This has a direct influence on the size of the delivery. For example, 85% of orders in Italy are lighter than 2 kg and are therefore ideally suited for the low-cost letter channel and our shipping solution.


Customs clearance

Only 6% of customers had to pay customs duty on their last purchase – this means that foreign customers are not used to paying customs duty on their international orders and do not expect to pay additional fees when they receive their order.

This requires a good customs clearance solution. Customers also want to know specifically what the delivery costs are. 

The importance of a good customs clearance solution is also shown by the fact that 52% of customers report that customs clearance takes too long. How can you optimize customs clearance when exporting to Italy? We explain all about in our blog.


Italians like things fast

Shipping Speed-Cross Border Orders-Italy


If you can offer your customers multiple options when it comes to shipping, all the better. 90% of customers say that consignments from a neighbouring country should arrive within 7 days. 42 % of customers even expect delivery to take only 2 to 3 days.

However, when customers have the choice between a fast, expensive delivery and a slow, inexpensive one, they usually opt for the slow variant without complaining about the longer delivery time.


Increase customer satisfaction through the right delivery

Delivery-Customer Satisfaction-Italy

Most Italian customers would like to have the delivery sent to their home. Alternatively, they prefer a secure place at their home address or the workplace.

38% of Italians would like to confirm receipt by signature, while 17% would prefer that no signature is required.



Sustainable shipping

Also interesting for exports to Italy: Italian customers are used to receiving free delivery.  This is primarily because of the high value of the items.

In addition, 59% would like to have the option of choosing sustainable delivery. 52% would also pay EUR 0.1 more for this. 61% would also like to have sustainable packaging, and 51% would be willing to pay EUR 0.1 for it. You want ? Then we have the right blog for you.


40% of Italian customers also say they would like to know which company delivers their parcels.

Do you need more information on how to export successfully to Italy? Then get in touch – we will help you without any obligation.

Still having some questions? Let's answer them!


There must be returns management

On average, 5% of orders are returned in Italy. Italians cited the fit or damage of an item as the main reasons for returns.  The returns rate in Italy is slightly higher than in Switzerland.

A good returns process is particularly important for Italian customers compared to other countries. We have an interesting blog for you on optimizing the returns process.Um die Ware zu retournieren, bevorzugen italienische Kundinnen und Kunden die Abholung der Sendung zu Hause (34 %) und die Rückgabe bei der Post (31 %). 

To return goods, Italian customers prefer to have the consignment collected at home (34%) and return it to the post office (31%).

Download country report


Sources: Netcomm Suisse 2017, IPC cross-border e-commerce shopper survey 2018, IPC Country report Italy, Internationaler E-Commerce - Chancen und Herausforderungen aus Händlersicht 2019

What do you have to consider if you want to sell and deliver your products and goods to Italy?  What distinguishes Italian online shoppers? What are the e-commerce trends in Italy? What else is there to consider for the e-commerce Italy market?