At a time time when inflation is at the top of the political and economic agenda and a tremendous concern for many Italian families, the research study carried out by The European House – Ambrosetti, in collaboration with Amazon, analysed the impact of e-commerce on the purchasing power of Italians, and more broadly, on businesses. It’s an analysis that dives straight into the inflationary pressure seen in 2022 (with peaks rising to nearly 12%), and its consequent reduction in discretionary spending (especially for those less fortunate families) and increase in poverty levels in absolute terms (with 300,000 more families listed, versus 2021).
This initial study by Ambrosetti published in March was based on a sample survey and analysed the perceptions of Italians citizens in relation to e-commerce and the cost of living. The study showed that inflation represents the number one problem for most Italians, with about 90% of citizens surveyed affirming that their purchasing power has decreased over the last year. The research also shed light on the positive role that online commerce plays in this context: according to those surveyed, e-commerce has facilitated access to lower prices and greater availability, range, and variety of items on offer.
The perception of Italians was also confirmed by the results of the economic-statistical analysis carried out by Ambrosetti. This study included the very first database in Italy analysing how the prices of goods sold via e-commerce evolve over time, vis-à-vis the general price index of a typical basket of goods for Italian households, as determined by ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics). The study depended on ISTAT data in defining the statistical model, siphoning out the data, and in a preliminary interpretation of results.
The study showed that in Italy, online prices were far more stable, even during periods of high inflation, and amounted to roughly 40 billion euros in purchases over the last three years. Additionally, the study showed that in Italy, when prices rose by a single percentage point, e-commerce was able to counter this by effectively reducing inflationary pressure (by -0.02 points), while still accounting for an increase in consumption (+845 million euros). In general, if it were not for the effect of the widespread use of e-commerce, over the last six years, inflation would have been on average 5% higher. Additionally, e-commerce use amounted to about 1 billion euros more in discretionary spending for Italian households between 2020 and 2022.
The research results lend credence to the socio-economic role of e-commerce in Italy. Additionally, the results clearly pay tribute to Amazon’s commitment to offer – right from Day 1 – an exceptional buying experience, thanks to low prices, a wide selection, and fast deliveries, which in turn contributes to the growth of businesses and the economy in general. It’s a commitment that we have only intensified further over the last year in an attempt to counter cost of living increases. It’s our commitment to be even more on the side of Italian households.
More specifically, we have increased promotional initiatives for our Prime and non-Prime customers, offering special savings events all year long. We have expanded our range of items available for speedy delivery and without any additional costs. We enhanced our communications regarding the various options available for spending less, even creating a dedicated page on amazon.it: 7 Ways to Save.
Amongst the numerous initiatives launched are the recent Made in Italy Days, that let Amazon customers worldwide buy over 18,000 Made in Italy products, giving greater international exposure and a boost to Italian businesses, with export sales from Italy up by over 50%. This July 11-12 marks Prime Day, where numerous deals will be on offer, both from popular brands and from small and medium-sized Italian firms.
And finally, we continue investing so that Amazon is the place our customers can trust for their purchases. In 2022 alone, we invested over 1.2 billion dollars globally and dedicated 15,000 employees to activities that help protect our customers, our business partners, and our online stores.