The Italian e-commerce sector continues to lag well behind the rest of Europe, with only 43 percent of internet users making at least one online purchase over the past year, according to data compiled by Eurostat. The figure compares unfavourably with the European average of 68 percent and is well behind top-ranked countries such as the UK (86%, double the Italian figure), Switzerland (84%) and Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands (82%). Only Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia fare worse, according Telecompaper.
 
Force of habit and a preference for shopping in person are cited as two of the reasons for the low e-commerce figures but the fact only 73 percent of the Italian population used the internet in the past 12 months, compared to 85 percent in the EU as a whole and 95 percent in the UK, is another major factor. In fact, the total percentage of the Italian population making at least one online purchase over the past year came to 32 percent, compared to 82 percent in the UK.