The Italian country code registry announced last week that they’d passed the 3 million domains registered. With the Italian registry about to kick off celebrations of their 30 years in existence the milestone was quite timely. The first .it domain name was registered in December 1987. They hit 1 million names registered in 2005, a number which doubled to 2 million a mere 5 years later.
In common with other ccTLD registries the Italian registry has commissioned some studies of the market to get a better idea of adoption, both of their ccTLD as well as domains and related technologies.
The results from the 2016 study are quite interesting (emphasis added):
It was revealed that 67% of companies have at least one domain, and 5% have more than one. 65% of micro-enterprises with a domain use it to read email, and only 15% use it for communication and marketing. It was also clearly revealed that 91% are not involved in e-commerce. The sample analysed also showed that Facebook, despite its 28 million users, is used for business purposes by only 27% of those interviewed, while 71% admit they have no company page on any social network. The positive fact is that 73% of the interviewed companies that have a domain name chose “.it” over other extensions such as “.com”, “.net”, “.eu” and “.org”.
How businesses use the ‘net is important. Email is still the “killer app”, as the Italian statistics clearly show. While e-commerce is something that many people focus on the takeup is low. But the fact that most Italian businesses are completely ignoring social media is really intriguing, as Italians themselves have definitely embraced social.
The finding that .it is the domain of choice for Italian businesses isn’t that surprising.
As Domenico Laforenza, head of the .it registry points out, “the “.it” domain has grown steadily over time; it’s preferred over other extensions, and this is due to an awareness of the need for a distinctive Made in Italy brand, partly for the global and highly competitive market that is the internet.” Laforenza concludes: “Despite this important milestone, we still have a lot of work to do; in our country there is limited awareness of the importance of having a domain name, and the Registry is going to strengthen partnerships with key Italian social and economic associations and organizations in order to help reduce the digital divide in Italy.”
According to World Bank data Italy’s internet penetration currently stands at just over 65.5%, while Ireland is at 80.12% and the UK is at 92%.