In America, the UK, and Germany, online shopping is one of the most popular methods of shopping. Many people prefer the comfort, ease, and affordability that companies like Amazon are able to offer them.
For many years, Amazon has struggled to establish a stable market in countries like Italy. Typically, Italians prefer in-person transactions, often favoring local businesses over massive global brands. However, when COVID-19 took hold, lockdown measures were put into place, leading more Italians to embrace the accessibility online shopping offered. They turned to Amazon for wine, ham, web cameras, and inflatable swimming pools. Even with restrictions lifted, Italians are still frequenting Amazon’s site.
“The change is real, the change is deep, and the change is here to stay,” said David Parma, a surveyor studying consumer behavior trends in Italy.
Before, only about 40% of Italians shopped with the company, compared to 87% of British citizens and 79% of Germans. Now, 75% of Italians are shopping online.
One of the major struggles for Amazon in Italy has always been the age of the country’s citizens. It has the oldest population in Europe, and those consumers are wary of putting their financial information online as well as preferring cash transactions.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has also brought many more Italian businesses to Amazon’s platform. Some of these companies are worried about what impact their new partnership will have on their future; others are excited by the opportunity.
“If you’re not on Amazon, you don’t have the same visibility,” said Mario Moccia of La Fabbrica della Pasta in Gragnano.
Amazon has quickly mobilized to take advantage of this new spike. They plan to open two fulfillment centers and seven delivery stations in the next few years. They also are looking to hire about 2,000 new employees by 2021.
In the coming months, Italy will face an uncertain economic future due to the pandemic. Only time will tell what role Amazon will play and whether their increasing presence will have a positive or negative impact.