Market entry strategy for exports to Italy

Our local teams plan & execute

If Italy is a relatively unknown market for you, you need a clear market entry strategy. This may be different from the strategies you have used so far, as the market structure and the competition is different.

Alliance experts helps you to develop your market entry strategy on the go. We scan the market, launch your product and grow your sales, constantly monitoring the responses and improving your approach.

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Oppportunities for international business in Italy

Italy is one of the larger economies in Europe, but also a country with very different regions, ranging from rich to poor. Italy has a rich cultural heritage, with Rome being one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. The country’s official language is Italian, but there are regions where German, French, and Slovene are primarily used.

As of 2024, Italy’s population is estimated at approximately 58.78 million. The country has been experiencing a population decline since its peak in 2017, with a negative growth rate due to a higher death rate than birth rate and negative net migration.

Italy is known for its diverse industrial sectors, ranging from fashion and luxury goods to automotive and machinery. It’s a significant player in the European and global economy.

HOW TO FIND YOUR AGENT OR DISTRIBUTOR?

The major urban centers include Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo. Italy is characterized by an uneven population density, with dense populations in the Po Valley and metropolitan areas of Naples and Rome.

Rome is the capital, but most of the economic activity is in the North, mainly focused around Milan. Depending on your product one of these cities (or both) should be your starting point. From there you can approach the other cities.  In Italy there are a lot of medium-sized family businesses, so it can be difficult to find one distributor for the whole country.

Finding an agent or distributor requires good knowledge of the Italian language and a good understanding of the culture. Without this it will be difficult to get access to the market.

SPECIFICS OF THE ITALIAN ONLINE MARKET

The Italian online market has some unique characteristics that set it apart from other markets. Here are some of the key factors:

  1. The Italian market is unique because it has a strong cultural and linguistic identity. This means that Italian consumers prefer to shop from websites that are tailored to their language and culture, and are more likely to trust local businesses that they know and recognize.
  2. Italy is famous for its luxury fashion and design, and this is reflected in the online market. Italian consumers are willing to pay a premium for high-quality products and services, particularly in the fashion, beauty, and home design sectors.
  3. While e-commerce is growing in Italy, it has been slower to take hold than in other countries. This means that there is still a significant opportunity for businesses to enter the Italian market and capture market share.
  4. Italians are heavy users of smartphones, and the mobile phone is often the primary device for accessing the internet. This means that businesses looking to succeed in the Italian market need to have a strong mobile strategy.
  5. The Italian market is relatively fragmented, with a large number of small and medium-sized businesses operating in different sectors. This means that there are many niche opportunities for businesses to target specific segments of the market.

In general, there are two ways if you want to sell your products online in this market:

  1. Through an open platform like Amazon, Eprice or Zalando where you can set up your own shop
  2. Through a (specialized) online distributor, who will buy your products and sell them on its website.

If you look at the most used third-party sales platforms, these are Italian versions of international websites and there is no incumbent party. But where other ‘foreigners’ have been able to make the step to the Italian market, with the right investments it should also be possible for you.

Why enter the market in Italy with us?

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

We are active in over 30 countries

We can compare different markets and as we can help you in all of them, we only favor the market that may work out best for you.

You Reduce your risks

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Try our services in Italy

Our structured approach: scan - Launch - Grow

The best way to learn about a market is to start reaching out and adjust your sales pitch on-the-go. This is what we do in our Scan-Launch-Grow approach. 

1st month

We scan the market

We dive into your product and what sales strategy has worked for you in other countries. We show you offering to various potential distributors or customers to collect feedback. And we review your competition so that we can determine the best market entry strategy. 

2nd month

We launch your product

Together with you we develop a first pitch for your target group. We extend our long-list of potential targets further and start reaching out, getting to the right decision makers and pitching your product. And we discuss the results with you, in order to optimise your strategy further.

3rd and next months

We grow your sales

We keep searching for new distributor candidates or clients and reach out to them. We also follow-up on previous contacts we had and on leads that you bring in. We introduce you to interested parties, but we can also support in meetings or close deals on your behalf. Every month we review our results.

Customer Experiences

” Outstanding service! Found the perfect partners in within a few months. Our international sales skyrocketed thanks to their expertise. “

Mehmet Aksoy

RR Engineers

” During our cooperation Alliance experts showed an effective approach and tracking, professionalism and provided the services reliably and on time. “
Nouraldine Banaeinejad

Nouraldin Banaeinejad

CAN Home appliances

” Invaluable local insights led to great distributor matches. Their approach revolutionized our market entry strategy. Highly recommend! “
Francis Huang

Francis Huang

Würth

” Alliance experts has helped us with clear insights in a market which was relatively new to us. Even under difficult circumstances they found good dealer candidates. “
Alliance Expert found distributors for Harley Davidson

Vitello Benevetti

Harley Davidson

” Alliance Experts’ tailored strategies boosted our Europe market presence phenomenally. Exceptional service, highly recommended! “
Jing Zhang

Jing Zhang

Kamtec

” Alliance Experts strongly supported our growth in African markets. Innovative, effective strategies, and superb communication. “
James Martin

James Martin

Brabantia

Companies we have helped with market entry strategy

Hydrologic
CAN Home appliances
Plastinovo
Apart Group
Golden Red Trade Solution
Brabantia
Oklas
Topdesk
De Heus
Verantis

We are active in over 30 countries