If up to only five years ago, a very small minority of Italians made online purchases, today it has become an increasingly concrete reality that regards also fashion, apparel, and accessories. The slogan ‘Buy online’ is by now everywhere and used by brands to attract consumers looking to make their purchases much easier and often more advantageous in terms of price. So, it is no surprise that online sales channels are quickly multiplying.
SEMrush, the SaaS platform for the management of online visibility, did an analysis of online fashion stores active in the Italian market, with a special side study on footwear, and the results were interesting.
The most powerful fashion industry site in Italy today is without a doubt zalando.it, followed by stileo.it and bonprix.it. As far as the global market is concerned, (according to September 2018 statistics), the most influential site has become Macy’s (macys.com), followed by ASOS and H&M.


The top 10 fashion industry websites in Italy are:

  1. zalando.it
  2. stileo.it
  3. bonprix.it
  4. privalia.com
  5.  yoox.com
  6. shopalike.it
  7. zara.com
  8. asos.com
  9. adidas.it
  10. hm.com


It is also interesting to note how the life of the online customer changes: every day everything becomes more digital and smarter, with cell phones increasingly representing the essential tool for reading the news and making purchases. Only 3.16% of consumers, in fact, visit e-commerce sites from their desktop computers, while 13.71% do it from their cell phones (based on an analysis of the global use of devices). Italy is the second country worldwide to do online searches through cell phones right after the United States. Despite this, we are used to hearing that most online purchases today occur from desktop computers and not cell phones.
With regards to online advertising, which is without a doubt one of the most powerful tools for the promotion of a product, we see words like “new collection” and “until” used as the most popular key-words in advertising in Italy. The TOP products that brands promote through advertising are shoes, jeans, and socks.
72.15% of all website owners spend 0-5000 $ per month on advertising, 13.92% spend between 10,000-50,000$, and only 2.53% invest more than 50.000+ $ in advertisements.
The most popular discount advertised during sales by different brands not only in Italy, but also in the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada was 50% for all seasons.
By focusing, instead, on products, we see that watches and shoes are the most sought-out products throughout the entire year. Nevertheless, there is an especially important uptrend in the number of searches done on these kinds of products during the summertime, when other search terms, together with the above, include “belts” (49.500 searches) and “bikini“ (40,500 searches), while for the rest of the year the most popular searches are on “shirts” and “clothing”.
Over the last 12 months, the most clicked on brand in Italy was Zara.

The list of the most popular fashion brand searches in 2018 include

  1. Zara
  2. H&M
  3. Pandora
  4. Adidas
  5. Bershka
  6. Nike
  7. Gucci
  8. Stradivarius
  9. Louis Vuitton
  10. Mango

Another interesting aspect to consider are the colours of the products that Italians search the most for on Google: “red shirt”, “red shoes”, “red dress”. The white dress is at the top of the global term search, while in the UK the most popular search is instead for the black dress. Is “red” the new “white” or is it the colour preferred by Italians? It is also interesting to note how Australians search above all for ruby-coloured shoes, while Canadians look for yellow shoes.
Another result revealed by the study is how the most popular sites in Italy are H&M and ZARA, when considering those consumers who use the specific key-word “online” in their e-commerce and fashion brand web searches.

Footwear is online

SEMrush also conducted a separate study on online footwear, both in terms of searches and purchases. The results show that footwear brands from the sports universe or iconic luxury brands rank among the most searched for and desired brands by Italians.

Here, as follows, are the top 10 most popular online shoe brands in Italy:

  1.  Nike
  2. Puma
  3. Adidas
  4. Gucci
  5. Saucony
  6. Timberland
  7. Hogan
  8. Geox
  9. Balenciaga
  10. Nero Giardini

If only Made in Italy luxury brands are considered, there is an especially strong performance by Gucci, even if the brand experiences great fluctuations in general and downtrends during the summer period.
The websites with the highest traffic in Italy today are those of Gucci, Armani, MaxMara, Twinset and Patrizia Pepe. It’s interesting to note however that the websites of Dolce&Gabbana and Fendi have more visits from cell phones than MaxMara and Twinset (leaders for overall web traffic).
As far as footwear is concerned, the most popular brands searched on the Internet are Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Chiara Ferragni and Prada. White, black, pink, and red are instead the leading colours with regards to luxury brand shoes.

Top 5 luxury brands – SHOES:

  1. Gucci
  2. Valentino
  3. Armani
  4. Chiara Ferragni
  5. Prada