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Ecommerce Italy 2024

AI-Commerce: the frontiers of Ecommerce Digital Thinking with Artificial Intelligence

The 18th edition of the "Ecommerce Italy" event was held on April 10th, 2024 in Milan, with a large participation of professionals from the ecommerce world and the presence on stage of managers of leading companies.

For 18 years, Casaleggio Associati's research has been exploring innovations, current trends, the most interesting cases and market evolutions thanks to the participation of the main companies in the Ecommerce landscape in Italy.

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Presentazione - Ecommerce Italy 2024
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Ecommerce Italy 2024 - Introduzione


2023 saw a new international Ecommerce approach with a strong push from Chinese operators where the first four (Shein, Temu, Alibaba, TikTok) ship collectively 108 Boeing 777 worth of volumes per day for online purchases around the world.

For most of the more established sectors, competition therefore turned into an economy-of-scale rush in order to be able to afford the necessary investments to remain competitive in terms of prices and services offered.

The particular situation of our peninsula, however, sees Italian customers so keen on buying online that Italy has become the second most interesting country in Europe for Amazon after Germany2, but most of the sectors are led by foreign players at the top of the ranking.
To confirm this picture, Italy is penultimate out of 27 European countries in terms of companies with online sales percentage.

Large online trade groups investments are mainly directed towards two areas: sector consolidation through the acquisition of competitors or companies from related sectors, and on the other hand, to develop new AI technologies that will most likely change the very model of e-commerce as we know it today. For instance, Alibaba led a billion-dollar investment round in Moonshot
AI, OpenAI Chinese competitor, as well as several other investments in AI companies.

AI impact on commerce will have two results: the first, immediate, on company’s processes efficiency by increasing productivity often by double-digit percentages; the second on the interface that customers will use in the future, which is likely to be vocal, through interaction with smart objects capable of choosing and comparing as well as buying on customers behalf.

Ecommerce in Italy

The most recent number of Internet users in Italy was 51.56 million at the beginning of 2024, with a 87.7% penetration (the average for Southern Europe is 90.2%, 94.5% for Western Europe, 97.6% for Northern Europe and 88.4% for Eastern Europe). This figure is decreasing by 0.3% compared to January 2023. Of these Internet users, 83% are also active on social media.

The number of mobile connections in 2023 was 81.55 million (which is also higher than the total number of the population, with a penetration of 138.7%), a 1.2% increase compared to last year. The percentage of Internet users accessing via mobile reached 96.9% in 2023.
br>The average number of hours spent online by users is 5 hours and 49 minutes, slightly down from last year (-1.8%); 50.8% of this time is spent on mobile devices, while the other half is spent on computers and tablets.

Geographically, the North West is the most connected area, with 66.5% of Italian adults surfing online; at the bottom of the list the South and Islands with 59.6% (still growing compared to last year).

44.9% of online users in Italy say they use Internet to look up products and brands and 90.4% visited shopping sites in the last month (second only to chat and messaging apps and social networks). 47.1% of users shop online on a weekly basis and the percentage rises to 62% if we consider both goods and services purchased in a whole year as a reference (the estimated single users who bought online in 2023 were 38 million, that is to say 442 thousand more than in 2022).

Taking the major players in the industry and their single active users on sites and apps as a reference, the number is even higher: it was close to 44 million in September 2023.

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Ecommerce Turnover Growth in Italy

(% change - Turnover in billions of €)

Source: Casaleggio Associati, 2024
E-commerce 2024 - Chart 1


Ongoing trends are enabling operators to position and grow better than the market. 2024 will see several players emerge with a focus on the ongoing revolution related to Artificial Intelligence that will allow merchants to revolutionise internal processes and even create new business models. In terms of product positioning strategy, and after two years of inflation and the beginning of an economic downturn due to rising rates, pricing strategy could make a difference. Not only in terms of discounts in return for slower shipping services, but also in terms of new models allowing for recurring purchases. Logistics will be an important component of price formation, with two factors likely to play a role: out-of-home delivery and a new, more stringent management of returns. On the promotion and contextualisation front, we will also see augmented reality and gamification as marketing tools that will become more important in the positioning mix. Finally, among the advertising tools available to merchants, promotion through retail media will become central both as an additional source of revenue and as an increasingly fundamental tool to reach the customer at the moment of choice.

E-commerce 2024 - Chart 2

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Speakers of the event

  • Sara Barni
    Sara Barni
    Sara Barni
    Head of E-commerce - Family Nation
  • Leonardo Berlingieri
    Leonardo Berlingieri
    Leonardo Berlingieri
    Head of Commercial - InPost
  • Salvatore Autovino
    Salvatore Autovino
    Salvatore Autovino
    CEO - Connecteed
  • Lukáš Havlásek
    Lukáš Havlásek
    Lukáš Havlásek
    Chief E-commerce & Innovations Officer - Notino
  • Barbara Panzeri
    Barbara Panzeri
    Barbara Panzeri
    Head of Marketing -
  • Layla Pavone
    Layla Pavone
    Layla Pavone
    Technological Innovation and Digital Transformation Board - Municipality of Milan
  • Sylvain Querné
    Sylvain Querné
    Sylvain Querné
    Digital & Marketing Director - MediaWorld
  • Marco Tiso
    Marco Tiso
    Marco Tiso
    Online Managing Director - Sisal
  • Marco Trada
    Marco Trada
    Marco Trada
    eCommerce Director - Leroy Merlin
  • Daniele Manca
    Daniele Manca
    Daniele Manca
    Vice Director - Corriere della Sera
  • Davide Casaleggio
    Davide Casaleggio
    Davide Casaleggio
    CEO & Partner - CA
  • Luca Eleuteri
    Luca Eleuteri
    Luca Eleuteri
    Partner - CA

Partners and Sponsors of the event

  • InPost is the Out of Home delivery platform leader for e-commerce in Europe.

  • ICT Sviluppo deals with designing and creating e-commerce with Shopify Plus and data integration systems.

  • Connecteed is a brand, software that enables effective and efficient feed management, the materialization of an omnichannel sales strategy, and increasing sales performance.

  • Spoki is a conversational platform that revolutionizes business communication through WhatsApp.

  • Stripe is a financial infrastructure platform for businesses.

  • T-Data is an e-commerce service provider offering outsourcing solutions for online sales development.

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