E-commerce in sharp growth. Enterprises of Abruzzo see an increase in transactions, exchanges and opportunities

E-commerce is today a growing reality that continues to maintain a very fast pace. Indeed, by dint of being the true protagonist of the digital revolution and of an era measured in bits, it has reshaped life habits, reducing the need for travel or delays and accelerating the processes of information.

In this process, especially during various lockdown imposed by authorities in order to stop the spread of Covid, Abruzzo played a fundamental role for the numerous transactions carried out. According to Istat data, processed by the Confartigianato Study Center, more than a half of Abruzzo internet users (who represent almost 70% of the resident population) made online purchases during the lockdown period. In addition, Abruzzo, according to the study of the observatory of Confesercenti, is ranked, in view of Christmas 2021, the first place for consumption per capita (with an average of 323 euros per consumer) in the South Italy.

Among the sectors that have enjoyed most the opportunity, there are those of cosmetics, fashion and food, that represent all sectors where Abruzzo continues to boast important excellences known throughout the world and requested by foreign markets. Among these markets there is certainly the Chinese, undisputed leader in the e-commerce sector, with almost a billion users connected to the Internet and occupying 52% of the world market, followed by the United States and by the European Union, recording only in 2020 transactions and-commerce for a turnover of more than EUR 30 billion.

With particular reference to the Made in Italy cosmetics sector, China is one of the strategic markets with a value of 89 million euros in exports that grew by 34% in the last ten years, with online sales increased in the last year by 60% in this area.

The majority of transactions in China take place on popular digital platforms. These include both platforms that have as their primary objective the advertising of the product, including Douyin (the Chinese version of Tik Tok), Wechat or Weibo, as well as platforms originally born for the sale of products to consumers, including Taobao, Tmall and JD.com.

These platforms have grown exponentially in recent years for a very significant turnover, considering that about 93% of Internet users in China regularly visit e-commerce websites and marketplace. Certainly, there are many factors to be considered for a company that decides to invest in e-commerce. First of all, legislation.

Recently, China, so as to comply with European regulation and to provide the e-commerce sector with uniform rules, has introduced a series of reforms, including the new law on e-commerce, and many others in the field of cybersecurity and data protection through three main acts: data security law, cybersecurity law and, finally, personal information protection law (Pipl). The primary

objective is to strengthen the protection of personal data in accordance with data protection responsibility and user protection.

Once clarified the regulatory framework, it is important to build an appropriate marketing strategy, that might include the opening of a specific online store. In this regard, it should be specified that even companies from Abruzzo, which have not a physical seat in China, can open their own online store on platforms dedicated to "cross-border e-commerce", including the most famous are Tmall Global (cross border version of Tmall), JD Worldwide (cross border version of JD.com) and Ymatou. These platforms are different from the domestic platforms described above, as they don’t require the presence of their own company in China.

So, the combination of these strategies allows companies of Abruzzo to sell in China, remaining in their region. It is clear, therefore, how Italy and China, despite being distant more than seven thousand kilometers, have never been so close. It is essential, however, to implement investment in digitalization. Despite the important achievements experienced in the framework of the Digital Agenda of the Abruzzo Region (among these it is significant to mention the recent implementation of the Ultra Broadband plan that has seen the testing of additional 93 municipalities in the Region), digital awareness-raising should not be stopped. This will increase connection speed, through fiber optic network systems with the aim of ensuring the connection to all families in the Abruzzo area trying also to actively involve all people, who are not inclined to the use of the internet connection, such as the elderly. It is not a coincidence that in China there are platforms with online stores specifically dedicated to the population over 60s.

Thus, through the use of e-commerce and the aforementioned platforms, small and medium-sized enterprises in Abruzzo can easily enter into the Chinese market trying to sell their products and specialties to more than 1 billion people, continuing to operate and produce in Abruzzo.