Italian SEO and Internet Marketing

Italy is currently one of the fastest growing online retail markets in Western Europe. By offering more secure online financial transactions at lower costs and quicker delivery times, offshore B2C internet retailing in Italy represents a significant future growth opportunity. The focus is on presenting professional Italian website translations and using effective multilingual SEO and SEM.

Quick Summary:

Number of Italian internet users (2006 latest): 30.8 million

Italian broadband access: 81.7 (per 1000)

Italian mobile phone users (latest data 2005): 72.2 million

Most popular local Italian search engine: http://www.iltrovatore.it

Most popular Italian website types: News and Travel.

Italian B2C e-commerce expenditure (2006): US $ 5 billion

Italy is a diversified economy with around the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. Italy’s GDP at current prices for 2006 stood at US $ 1,841 billion, having increased marginally by 4.3% over 2005 Italy estimates, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database dated September 2006.Nielsen Net Ratings has estimated the total number of Italian internet users in October 2006 at 30.8 million, comprising 52% of the Italian population, having increased by 133% over 2000 estimates for the same. The World Bank-ICT database has also estimated Italy’s per capita internet usage at 321 (per 1000) in 2004, having increased from 229(per 1000) in 2000.

* Source: Nielsen Net Ratings, October 2006 data

Italy’s broadband access per capita is also rapidly on the rise, growing over a small base to reach 81.7 (per 1000) in 2004, having risen from a mere 2 (per 1000) in 2000, according to the World Bank-ICT database. Italy’s broadband usage reached 8 million or so in 2006, representing around 35% of all Italian households. The World Bank-ICT database has also estimated that Italy’s per capita personal computer usage was at 232 (per 1,000) in 2004, having grown by 29.6% over 2000 Italy estimates. Similarly, Italy’s mainline and mobile phone usage also stood at 461 and 1,091(per 1000) respectively in 2004. Estimates put the total number of Italian telephone mainline users and mobile phone subscribers at 25.1 million and 72.2 million respectively, as per 2005 estimates.

The most popular Italian search engines are http://www.iltrovatore.it, http://www.excite.it, http://www.godado.it, http://www.google.it, http://www.it.altavista.com, http://www.it.yahoo.com, http://www.lycos.it, http://www.msn.it, http://www.shinyseek.it, http://www.supereva.it, http://www.tiscali.it and http://www.virgilio.it. EIAA’s ‘Europe Online’ Report for August 2006 also states that Italy’s most frequently visited websites are those on travel and news, with Italians visiting more mobile phones, car or motoring websites than the European average for the same. 

According to Euromonitor International, Italian credit cards came third in 2004 with a transaction value share of 3% in the Italian financial cards market, behind Italian debit and charge cards. The two main Italian credit card operators in 2004 were Visa and Mastercard. Visa was the leading operator with the widest network of accepting merchants, member banks and circulating cards. Euromonitor states that Italy’s e-commerce boom would be driven by the improved security offered by chip card, with. internet transactions expected to grow appreciably by 179% in constant value terms over the 2004-2009 period. EIAA’s August 2006 ‘Europe Online’ Report also states that the average Italian internet shopper spends approximately € 449 (US $ 558.6) and buys 3 items online over a six month period. 

A September 2006 eMarketer report estimates the Italian B2C retail e-commerce sales at US $5 billion. It also predicts a bright future ahead for Italian retail e-commerce, which is expected to outpace UK, Germany and France over the next few years by growing at the fastest compound annual growth rate of 33% in the 2006 to 2010 period. A Forrester Research Inc. September 2006 report also forecasts that Italian e-commerce is expected to reach € 14 billion (US $ 18 billion) by 2011, accounting for 6% of total European online sales. Thus, offshore internet retailing would be the prime growth catalyst for the future expansion of the Italian retail e-commerce market, dispelling Italian security concerns for all online financial card transactions, as also ensuring quicker turnaround times and hassle free purchases at specially discounted prices.

Reference Sources/Further Readings:

1. IMF World Economic Outlook Database

2. The World Bank Group - ICT Database

3. ITU (International Telecommunication Union)

4. http://www.cia.gov - The World Factbook

5. http://www.researchandmarkets.com

6. http://www.whitelines.nl

7. http://www.internetworldstats.com

8. Nielsen Net Ratings

9. EIAA (Europe Interactive Online Association) Europe Online Report, August 2006

10. Forrester Research Inc.

11. http://www.euromonitor.com

12. http://www.marketwire.com/eMarketer