While fewer Italians are spending money these days, those that are, appear to be turning to the internet. Ecommerce has grown 18% so far in Italy in 2012.
Why such healthy growth? Well, the generally poor state of Italy’s economy is probably helping, albeit indirectly. In attempts to spend less, Italians are hunting for bargains and they are doing it online.
Ecommerce levels could grow even faster if Italy sorts out a related issue.
The Amazon Factor
There is also what I call the ‘Amazon factor‘.
Amazon Italy seems to be doing well and Italians, judging by comments on the Amazon.it web site, appear to appreciate Amazon-style efficiency and security. Many Italians are surprised at Amazon’s delivery efficiency. The Amazon factor is building confidence in ecommerce in Italy, I’m sure of it.
Sky high fuel prices mean that trips to the shops are expensive, so by shopping online, not only can Italians find goods at better prices, they can also save money on fuel for their cars.
Italy May Get Faster Internet
More Italians would probably shop online if Italy had better, cheaper, internet too.
There are moves to sort out internet connectivity in Italy, but whether anything will actually happen remains to be seen and depends to a great extent on the stranglehold of Italy’s biggest telecommunications company Telecom Italia which more or less controls internet connectivity throughout the nation.
Mired in debt, Telecom Italia does not have the cash to invest in sorting out the internet issue, and doing so may well increase the company’s debt anyway. This adds to Telecom Italia’s reluctance to act.
The Monti led government is trying to find a way to assist Telecom Italia and provide Italy with better internet.
Better internet will not only help ecommerce to keep growing, it will also lead to the creation of more jobs, and will allow existing businesses to grow.
Come on Italy, you are, as usual, being left behind. Italy needs fast internet as soon as possible.
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