(AGI) Rome, Oct. 1 - Italian companies are still reluctant tostart selling products online, a survey showed. Onlinepurchases are expected to rise by 24 percent in Italy in 2015in volume and by 15 percent in value, yet 92 percent of smalland medium-size enterprises have never even considered to makeuse of e-commerce. TNS market research found this byinterviewing 202 companies on behalf of Confcommercio and eBayon the occasion of the partnership signed between the businessconfederation and the marketplace. Claudio Raimondi, generalmanager of eBay Italy, commented on the results in a pressconference. "E-commerce in Italy is worth 15 billion butaccounts for only four percent of retail, compared to 12-16percent in other countries Europe such as France, Germany andGreat Britain." Internet commerce is expected to growconsiderably, considering the fact that in the past sevenyears, despite the crisis, the sector grew at 15 percent peryear worldwide. In 2014 eBay Italy sold 74 items per minute andincreased to 4.5 million active buyers. Food is among thesectors with ample room for growth: in the first six months of2015 the number of products sold increased by about 50 percentover the same period last year, with a product sold every fourminutes. Nevertheless, 88 percent of surveyed SMEs said theydid not see much profit in e-commerce. Of these firms, 69 saide-commerce would not increase their turnover and 26 percentfear that it might harm their traditional business. Of theinterviewed companies, 72 percent see e-commerce as complex. Amajority also think it requires considerable investment (56percent) and that it is only suitable for large companies (43percent). Confcommercio wants to change this attitude: "Over 84percent of business failures in recent years had insufficientdigital skills," said Alessandro Micheli, president of theYoung Entrepreneurs of Confcommercio. "Italy must bridge a hugegap. We can not pretend that the world does not change and wehave to understand the new buying habits of consumers.". .