Country spotlight is an ongoing series on the UK blog, where our team of local and global experts showcase what there is to know about key regions across EMEA.
This month, our Associate Account Manager, Edoardo Spadaro, shines the light on Italy.
Overview of the Italian affiliate market
The Mediterranean is seen by many as a growth area for affiliate marketing, and Italy is no exception. Affiliate marketing is less developed in Italy than other European markets such as the UK and Germany, resulting in less competition and price pressures. On the other hand, this also presents interesting growth opportunities for advertisers new to the region.
Despite the market being less mature, the Italian market is increasingly developing as eCommerce business is now growing in the country.
Ecommerce is growing
Italy has seen steady growth in eCommerce; in 2019 the number of Internet users in Italy increased by 27% year on year and there are currently 19 million online shoppers which is predicted to increase by nearly 2 million in 2020. Additionally, for the first-time, in 2018 the sales of goods and products has surpassed those of services (56% vs. 44%) showing that consumers are increasingly purchasing goods online. In terms of online retail, clothing and consumer electronics are some of the most popular purchasing categories as well as travel.
In comparison to mature affiliate markets such as the UK, mobile commerce growth has been slower in Italy with the majority of online sales still taking place on a desktop device. However, the use of mobile devices is seeing a steady increase as the mindset of Italian consumers shifts more towards mobile, which now accounts for roughly 30% of all digital sales. Any brand looking to expand to the Italian market should think about how they can reach consumers on desktop and mobile devices.
Cross-border eCommerce is gaining increasing significance in Italy, with many Italian consumers looking to buy products from advertisers in the UK, US, and China in 2018, a third of Italian consumers purchased from a foreign website. This presents opportunities for advertisers located outside of Italy to reach this consumer group through their affiliate marketing programme.
In eCommerce sales, Italian companies competing in foreign markets is currently more significant within the European Union; 20% of Italian companies sell online in France, 18% in Germany and 15% in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, Italian companies that only sell online globally, generated almost three times more revenue if their website offered multilingual options.
Overview of the key players
Many of the global and European affiliate networks are active in Italy including, Awin, Tradedoubler, CJ, Tradetracker, Netaffiliation, Effiliation, Kwanko and Webgains.
As well as this, affiliates we know in the UK are also present in Italy as well as some local players. Popular affiliates include: Global Savings Group, TIKATO, BuyOn, beruby, Savoo, bestshopping.com, Payback, Lyoness, Topnegozi and BravoSconto.
Though Italy is not the most developed affiliate market, it is certainly a market to keep an eye on, with mobile and eCommerce sales on the rise brands should consider targeting consumers in this country.
If you would like to find out about launching or growing your global affiliate programme download our EMEA affiliate marketing handbook.
- Fabiano F. Afflliate Marketing: Top Tips to Enter the Italian Market Successfully. https://performancein.com/news/2019/03/11/affiliate-marketing-top-tips-enter-italian-market-successfully
- Insights into the Growth of Italian eCommerce. https://www.eshopworld.com/blog/italy-ecommerce-insights-2018
- gov. Italy Country Commercial Guide.