On October 15, at the Politecnico di Milano took place the 19th edition of the Digital Innovation Observatory during which were presented the results of the 2018 research concerning eCommerce in the B2C field.
In 2018 the penetration of eCommerce in the world is reaching increasingly higher values. At the top of the ranking we find China 18%, USA 17% and Europe 10%. Together they hold 85% of the eCommerce B2C world, with an annual expenditure of 2,500 billion euros
At a European level, which saw a 12% growth compared to last year, the most structured markets are UK, Germany and France. Than we can find Italy, entering as one of the most developing eCommerce markets, with a penetration of 6.5% and a growth of +16% compared to 2017.
In Italy there are 23 million web shoppers (1/3 Italian has made at least one online purchase in 2018) and 35 million are considered multi-channel consumers (more than 2/3 of the population over 14 years old). Focusing on the Italian case, we can stress that the eCommerce offer, has developed more slowly than other European countries. Italy is the country with the highest density of retail shop per km². The skills and investments are not always, but nevertheless, the 75% of the top 300 Italian retailers own an eCommerce website.
Demand in Italy has grown about +8% compared to 2017, and the Italian web shopper has precise characteristics:
- 63% of online shoppers are in the 25-54 age group
- 54% of web shoppers are men
- 46% of requests come from the North, 20% from the Center and 34% from the South of Italy
The number of consumers that buy at the point of sale is also rising from 36% in 2015 to the 44% in 2018. This is because eCommerce helps to give value at the offline and at the physical store, places where sellers can cultivate customer loyalty and assistance. The consumer is increasingly omnichannel and knows how to move within the various options to achieve what he wants.
The company will be able to generate value only by adopting a precise omnichannel strategy, adopting the right language for each medium and having the courage to put into practice the established strategies and objectives.
The growth of the number of e-shoppers is unstoppable and this happens in all sectors. In first place we find tourism with a +6% compared to 2017 and an average receipt of €290. In second place the informatics & electronics (+18% compared to the previous year and average receipt of €240), then Clothing (+20% compared to 2017 and average receipt of €175), then Furniture and Home Living with a 53% increase and an average receipt of €180. Finally, we find Food & Grocery (+34% and average receipt of €70) and Beauty with an increase of 31% compared to 2017 and an average receipt of €50.
About the distribution of demand between products and services we have a strong growth of the first and a flattening of the latter. In fact, in 2018, the 56% of eCommerce is focused on products with a growth of 13% since 2014.
To complete the analysis, it’s important to underline the data about the devices used to purchases. The Smartphone acquires an increasingly role in purchases. In Italy, smartphone is used in the 31% of online purchases. It is estimated that between 2021 and 2022 the share of smartphone purchases can reach 50%.
Last but not least, we have talked about inport and export. Compared to 2017, product exports increased by 11% and the main non-Italian buyers are: Europe (50%), USA (25%), China (5%), Japan (5%) and Russia (3%). The trade balance between import and export is positive (export> import) in the Fashion, Food & Grocery and Furniture sectors, while it is negative (import> export) in the publishing, IT and electronics, tourism and transport sectors.
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