This is your guide to exporting to Italy, Europe’s fourth-largest e-commerce market. From understanding the growth potential of the market to navigating popular platforms and key shopping events, we will equip you with the knowledge you need to succeed.
Italy’s e-commerce sector is growing fast, above the global average of 11%; between 2023-2027, e-commerce growth in Italy is set to hit 12.23% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). (1)
Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce in Italy has taken off in recent years. Today, two-thirds of the country’s 60 million people shop online. (3)
In 2021, 67% of Italians purchased from international websites (2). This is a great indicator of a market that is happy to buy products from cross-border retailers.
An Italian online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell a wide range of products including cars, furniture, electronics, and more.
Ebay.it is the Italian version of the globally popular retail website. Famous for second-hand items, this marketplace is also great for direct-to-consumer products.
Free returns aren’t the e-commerce essential they once were in Italy. In 2022, 85% of Italian shoppers said they would buy more online if returns were free – but in 2023 that number had dropped by 20%.5
Fewer Italian shoppers see free returns as a major reason to buy (5).
However, many Italian consumers find the returns process frustrating. Make sure you offer a smooth returns process to improve customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases. (5)
A full three quarters of Italian consumers WON'T buy if returns information is missing from your site. Additionally, 93% say they almost always read the online retailer’s returns policy prior to placing an order (5). Make sure you include this information, and make it easy to find from your homepage.
Cash on delivery is now rarely used, while ‘buy now, pay later’ options have increased rapidly in the last 5 years(6).
Understanding the key shopping events and holidays in Italy is crucial for maximizing your e-commerce sales. Here are some important dates to mark in your calendar:
Italy imposes import duties and value-added tax (VAT) on goods brought into the country. See the section below ‘Importing to Italy from non-EU countries’ for more information.
Ensure you have the necessary paperwork, including commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin.
Familiarize yourself with the list of restricted and prohibited goods in Italy to avoid any legal complications.
Depending on the type of goods, you – the importer (consignee) – may need to provide additional information. For example:
Expect to pay VAT, duty and Duty Tax Importer Surcharge on most goods being imported to Italy. All goods coming from non-EU countries are subject to VAT, and duty is applied on shipments with a value of over €150 imported from countries outside the European Union.
Your customer generally pays customs charges – making for a poor customer experience. To solve this problem, DHL pays VAT, duties and any other customs clearance costs in advance on the receiver's behalf.
To speed up customs clearance procedures and deliver shipments as quickly as possible, DHL will:
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