Thinking of Expanding into Spain? 10 Quick Facts About Spanish Ecommerce

Spanish Ecommerce

Spain has made significant strides towards economic recovery since the recession and now boasts the largest ecommerce market in the southern European region, ahead of both Italy and Turkey. Approximately 60% of the Spanish population have shopped online, contributing to an online turnover of more than €14bn (£10.2bn) in 2014.

Expanding into new countries or regions can reap serious rewards in terms of sales, brand and reach for ecommerce businesses ─ but it’s important that you understand how to enter and best serve these markets. In recognition of this, we’ve compiled a list of 10 fast facts about ecommerce in Spain for online merchants looking to seize the Spanish opportunity.

1. Spanish spending

According to a cross-border ecommerce report by the Paypers, the average annual ecommerce spend per person in Spain is approximately €513. This is slightly higher than Italy, which has an average annual ecommerce spend per person of €477, and Benelux, where the figure stands at €481.

Spanish Ecommerce

 2. Crossing borders

Spain represents a significant opportunity for foreign e-retailers. Cross-border purchases through ecommerce sites already account for around 56.5% of online transactions in the country. Indeed, of the five top e-retailers in Spain – Amazon, Apple,, PPR Group and El Corte Inglés – four are foreign.

3. Opportunity knocks

Spanish Ecommerce

Ecommerce sales still only represent around 1.2% of national GDP. With 18 million people who have internet access but who do not yet shop online, there are real opportunities to be had by companies that understand the Spanish market and buyer.

4. Value of trust
Confidence and trust are highly valued by Spanish shoppers and are huge factors in their decision to buy online – many are put off by not being able to physically see/feel what they are buying, while others don’t feel comfortable entering personal details into websites – particularly when it comes to online payment methods. Brands can reassure new Spanish e-shoppers by hosting lots of product information, photos and customer reviews, and working with an experienced payment services provider to provide absolute peace of mind over the security of online payment information.

5. Buying habits
The Payers report revealed the most popular types of products that Spanish shoppers buy online. In 2013, the leading category was ‘apparel and footwear’ with a value of €1.2bn, with ‘food and drink’ in close second with a value of €1.1bn. ‘Media products’ and ‘consumer electronics and video games hardware’ were in third and fourth place respectively. Another report noted books as another popular product category for Spanish online shoppers.

6. Cards are commonplace
Card are king for ecommerce payments in Spain. Credit and debit cards were preferred by 45% of online shoppers. The most popular card issuers in the country are Visa and MasterCard; however, the majority of cards carry the Visa brand (57.1% vs 39.9%). About 85% of the Spanish population has at least one credit or debit card.

7. Open to alternatives

Spanish Ecommerce

18% of Spanish online shoppers prefer to pay online using PayPal. Cash on delivery also remains popular.

8. Mobile coverage

Spain has one of the fastest-growing mobile commerce (m-commerce) markets in Europe. Approximately 30% of ecommerce transactions in Spain are conducted via a mobile device – a huge incentive for ecommerce companies to put serious thought into the mobile optimisation of their websites.

9. Social value

Spanish Ecommerce

45% of Spanish people have shared information on a social network – a figure that is higher than the global average of 36%. Spaniards use social networks to seek out opinions and reviews about products prior to purchase. They also use sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out about brands. However, 65% of Spanish e-shoppers dislike brands that use social networks simply to promote offers or as a replacement for sales literature such as catalogues. Brands should ensure their social presence offers real added value to attract Spanish eyes and pockets.

10. Stepping stone

Once you have established your proposition, systems and processes for the Spanish market, you could use this to your advantage and use Spain as a platform to reach other markets – Portugal, for example, where more than 21% of cross-border online transactions are purchases in Spain.