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Italian e-commerce companies keenly embracing mobile in bid to drive up sales and customer service, says Casaleggio-Barclays study

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Fourteen per cent of companies involved in e-commerce in Italy are already busy implementing a mobile phone strategy, while another 35% are currently planning to invest in this field by late 2010 and in 2011 – driven by a need to increase sales and boost customer service, finds the latest study from Casaleggio Associati and Barclays.

The study finds that no less than 30% of Italian e-commerce companies are planning to allow purchases to be made from mobile phones, 25% to enable the use of mobile phones for advertising campaigns, 20% to use information services via SMS, while the remaining quarter of companies want offer services such as product reviews, price comparisons and checking of warehouse stocks.

Seventeen per cent of Italian e-commerce companies have already created some kind of smartphone application for iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, while 18% of them have set up a website to handle Internet browsing via mobile. Of these, approximately half (42%) enable the user to browse through product catalogues, while one-third (33%) enable the user to make purchases directly via mobile phone.

In fact, e-commerce purchases via mobile phone are starting to create a specific niche within the e-commerce market even though, in Italy, the service is limited to a small number of operators and particularly to the transport and clothing field.

As regards user interest, the companies believe that the most attractive mobile phone services are as follows: catalogue browsing (27%), real-time assistance (23%), purchases via mobile phone (22%), “find the nearest sales outlet” (14%) and sms adverts (13%).

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