September 26, 2006, 12:00 AM

Only 20% of online consumers in Italy shop on the Internet

E-commerce is off to a slow start in Italy, with only 20% of the online adult population shopping online this year, up from 8% in Q2, 2003, Forrester Research reports. Italian e-commerce is expected to reach €14 billion ($18 billion) by 2011.

 

Electronic commerce is off to a slow start in Italy, with only 20% of the online adult population shopping online this year, up from 8% in Q2, 2003, according to a Forrester Research study. Italian e-commerce is expected to reach €14 billion ($18 billion) by 2011, accounting for only 6% of European online sales.

Security concerns and distrust of online payments are major barriers to widespread acceptance of e-commerce among Italian online consumers, according to Forrester. During the second quarter, 73% of Italian online consumers said they think personal information is not secure when making an online purchase. That compares with 42% of European online consumers.

The top three product categories Italians bought online are the same as in 2003-leisure travel, books and event tickets, Forrester says. However, the percentage of online buyers who bought books via the Internet dropped almost 25% in 2006, while the percentage of those buying event tickets increased 36%.

Italian online buyers are expected to spend more than €5 billion ($6 billion) on leisure travel in 2011, representing 33% of total online retail sales in Italy, Forrester says. Consumer electronics and event tickets will remain second and third in terms of spending while health and beauty online sales will double to 8%.

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