Poste Italiane announced on March 15 a new partnership with Amazon.it , whereby customers will be given the option to pay Amazon goods on delivery . Postal carriers will be equipped with card readers. The test will be conducted in 6,500 cities, then, based on trial outcome extended to 15,000 post offices nationwide next year. No payment fee will be charged during the trial.
This news is intriguing : payment on delivery, which used to be widespread in 20th century Europe, has all but disappeared, except in countries such as Ukraine where it still is the main payment method . In fact 80% of Italian e-shoppers pay by credit card or Paypal on checkout.
On the other hand, Italy is lagging behind most of its neighbors when it comes to e-commerce penetration. Only one third of Italian Internet users shop online – vs. 43% in Spain, 51% in Poland, and 85-90% in the UK, France or Germany (source Eurostat). Many Italians put a higher value on trips to local retailers than on the convenience of online shopping : according to a ContactLab study 78% of customers who don’t shop online say they want to “see” the merchandise before they buy.
The Italian Post’s goal to develop new customer-centric delivery services is aligned with Amazon.it’s objective to grow the underdeveloped Italy’s online bookstore/consumer electronics segment. Created only 15 months ago, Amazon.it is at the moment Italy’s 27th most visited web site according to Alexa.com …just below the Poste Italiane web site , which ranks 24th.
Further readings on the Italian e-commerce market :
– Casaleggio.it (annual study) : http://www.casaleggio.it/pubblicazioni/focus/ecommerce/ecommerce-in-italia-2011.php, (2011 report, 2012 is due out in April)
– Milan Polytechnic E-commerce Observatory’s annual study 2011 http://www.osservatori.net/rapporti – slides available on slideshare.net
-ContactLab 2011 report “E-Commerce Consumer Behaviour” http://www.contactlab.com/paper_netcomm/mail/76/695/ecommerce-consumer-behaviour-report.html