This blog post was updated on 25 January 2022.
Italy is a market full of opportunity for brands wanting to grow internationally. In this blog post, we have identified some of the key findings from our guide to digital marketing in Italy. Come with us on a journey through the country’s digital landscape, focusing on e-commerce and the Italian language and culture.
1. E-commerce in Italy
E-commerce is popular in Italy. 87% of Italian internet users have searched online for a product or service in the last month, and 80% have gone on to actually make an online purchase. When it comes to buying online, credit cards are the most popular payment option. It is also interesting to notice that Italian businesses tend to operate online on international platforms such as Amazon and eBay, instead of creating their own website. Not only this, but Italians are big fans of the omnichannel formula, which combines the physical experience of looking for products in shops with the online experience of researching on multiple platforms and finally completing the purchase on the one with the best offer.
It is important to be aware of the preferred delivery methods too, as the Italian postal service is often not reliable, especially with packages from abroad. Private couriers are the best choice, especially when sending items of value.
2. An important trademark: Made in Italy
When it comes to specific sectors of the Italian market, such as fashion, food and drink, interior design and mechanical engineering, you should be aware of the power of the “Made in Italy” trademark. This indicates products manufactured and produced in Italy, under Italian regulations.
Over the years, the “Made in Italy” trademark has acquired value and merit in its home market as much as abroad, and Italians themselves prefer to buy “Made in Italy” products over foreign ones.
This can potentially constitute an obstacle for foreign businesses wanting to target Italy in these sectors. It is important to be aware of this trademark, and to remember that it can take longer to get established in these sectors and build trust.
3. The Italian language and culture
People in Italy prefer to read online content written in their native language of Italian, over accessing pages written in English. This means that any content you have that is not written in Italian needs to be translated, localised and checked by a native speaker. Italians do not like excessive formality, so an informal tone is preferred when addressing your online audience. In the case of young customers, humour is also popular.
The Italian culture is full of all kinds of images, many of which are also used in advertising and in marketing. It is important to be aware of what these are, together with their connotations, as using the wrong one risks hindering your campaign.
To recap: Top things to bear in mind when marketing in Italy
- E-commerce is popular in Italy. Credit cards are the most popular online payment method.
- The omnichannel formula works well in Italy.
- Private courier is the preferred delivery method for online purchases.
- Foreign brands should be aware of the popularity of the “Made in Italy” label and be patient when targeting certain sectors such as fashion, food and drink, interior design and mechanical engineering.
- All content targeting Italy should be written in Italian. And remember that Italians prefer an informal tone!
I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction to digital marketing in Italy. For more in-depth information and advice, read the full-length guide here.
Anna Giulia Novero
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