Italy’s online habits confronted with the rest of the world

Contactlab | December 21st, 2016

There are 30.5 million Italian people connected, that correspond to 78% of the Italian population aged between 16 and 65. The number of mobile users, in particular, is growing fast. These and more data are collected in the European Digital Behaviour Study 2016 (EDBS16), the annual survey by Contactlab researching the online performance of the European and non-European population. The study measures user connectivity and compares countries thanks to its Digital Interactivity Index. For example, even if the number of people using the Internet in Italy has grown this year (+ 6%), the index shows a “mild” 39 figure, compared to the British 51 and the German 46. Crossing the European border, values are even higher: Shanghai (61), New York (55), Moscow, St. Petersburg (53) and Seoul (53).

In Europe, Internet penetration among citizens aged between 16 and 65 has reached 94%, a goal that Italy will reach in 4 years, according to the projections by Contactlab analysts, that are based on the national growth trend of the past years.

Italian online shopping is also growing: almost half (47%) of the Internet users aged 16 to 65 has shopped online in the last 12 months – i.e., 14.3 million people, 9% more than in 2015. These numbers are still far from the European average (where 8 users out of 10 use e-commerce services), but are supposed to grow. As for the average online spending in Italy, it has increased by 30% over the last year, reaching 1,600 euros per year.

Regarding the interaction with brands on social networks, In Italy 1 Internet user in 5 is heavily involved, and this value is doubled if we take into account users that are inclined to this kind of interaction, as pointed out by the Social Opportunity Index. According to the Index, Shanghai ranks first, New York second and Spain third in relation to the number of users who’d like to interact with brands on social networks. These data, if further studied with Insighthub – the web tool by ContactLab that lets you access the full data set of EDBS16, “play” with them and filter results – can help calculate the opportunity of consumer engagement through the digital channels that are directly managed by companies, thereby helping them build an effective and profitable marketing plan.

A significant slice of the Italian online spending is dedicated to the world of luxury: 25% of users aspire to have a luxury retail item. In addition, according to the Luxury Consumption Index – that estimates the actual consumption of luxury clothing among internet users – Italy stands at a slightly lower position (with 49 index points) than the rest of Europe (59), but is growing fast. Going more into detail, the Index studies user segments, in order to understand how many of them are seeking to purchase luxury goods and study their profile. Such information is fundamental for merchants, as it helps them understand the potential of their database and implement differentiation strategies.