Italy's population was estimated at 60.3 million before the coronavirus emerged. The country faces hard economic times. By April 2020 GDP is forecast to fall 6 percent from 1.7 trillion euros in 2019 as a result of the virus. However, Italy’s ecommerce sales are showing growth - with 21.2 billion euros in value. The numbers are expected to reach a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent in 2021.
Internet penetration was 73 percent last year at 82 percent in January. As of January internet usage was higher among the 16-years-to-24-years group with 93 percent compared with 65-to-74-year-olds with 31 percent. Italy's mobile ecommerce market is growing rapidly with almost 7 billion euros in sales and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent in 2021 with 18.8 billion euros. The fintech adoption rate has accelerated by 51 percent as of end-2019 compared to an international average of 64 percent.
The average Italian consumer spends 1,032 euros each year online. That is less than half the European average of 2,186 euros. Cash has been the most preferred mode of payment in Italy with 78.5 percent of the total payment transaction volume in 2019. But the payments landscape has reached a transformative moment. The use of debit and credit card transactions growth looks set to receive a further boost at the cost of a decline in cash as a result of the virus.