Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/21/2019

Overview
During 2018, the Spanish eCommerce sector continued the very positive trend of  recent years, both in the B2C and B2B areas. The sector remains highly competitive and offers opportunities for U.S. companies.

For reference purposes, Spain is considered the fourth largest B2C market in the EU, behind the UK, Germany and France. Internet penetration in Spain is estimated to be 86 percent.

Current Market Trends
With a high level of internet penetration (86 percent), potential for ecommerce is high.  There are three main trends in the Spanish eCommerce market at present: first, logistics has become a critical differentiator for Spanish sellers since the introduction of Amazon’s prime service. Secondly, Spain is considered to have one of the largest smartphone penetration rates in Europe, fuelling mCommerce growth. Lastly, as the market expands, the need to integrate analytics, artificial intelligence, big data and chatbots is more relevant to industry participants.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
B2C ecommerce increased in 2018 by 25 percent to Euros 24 billon (USD28 billion) with double digit growth estimated for the coming year.  Top product categories for online purchases by consumers were travel and hotel, ticket services, clothing, electronics and food, with the value of most of the purchases ranging from $100 - $500. Credit cards were one of the most widely used payment methods. The Spanish Markets and Competition Commission has developed detailed statistical data by quarter, based on credit card payment information for e-commerce transactions.   AliExpress & Wallapop are the most popular retail apps across mobile devices. Eighty-three percent of  Spanish online purchases were made from Spanish websites.   (Source: https://www.ecommercefoundation.org/blog/news-and-publications-1/post/press-release-2018-ecommerce-report-spain-12)

For consumers, while in Europe the online seal of confidence is “TrustedShops”, in Spain the most widely used one is called “Confianza Online”.

Cross-Border eCommerce
Ninety-two percent of cross border ecommerce is  with other EU countries.  Nonetheless, the eCommerce Foundation´s 2018 report on Spain, indicates online purchases from countries of unknown origin at 10 percent. 

B2B eCommerce
According to the Spanish Statistical Office, just about 20 percent of companies with more than 10 employees made sales in 2017 and T1 2018 through eCommerce, while 32 percent made purchases.

eCommerce Services
The number of companies and the depth of their eCommerce-related services related to logistics, shipping warehousing and fullfillment has recently seen a significant growth in Spain. The U.S. Commercial Service can assist in identifying a reliable partner.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
Spanish patent, copyright, and trademark laws approximate or exceed European Union levels of intellectual property protection. Spain is a party to the Paris Convention, Bern Convention, the Madrid Accord on Trademarks and the Universal Copyright Conventions.

Please refer to the “Protection of Property Rights” section in the Country Commercial Guide for Spain, as it contains detailed information on Protecting your Intellectual Property in Spain.

Popular eCommerce Sites


Online Payment
The prefered online payment method for consumers in Spain, estimated at 90 percent of the total,  is by debit/credit card, followed by Paypal. Ecommerce players are adding new payment/consumer financing options to improve conversion rate.

Mobile eCommerce
The growth of Mobile eCommerce is significant in Spain, and most retailers are adapting their online presence to this segment, not only because of the change in the ranking algorithms at search engines, but because it is a well adopted trend by end users. The estimation is that in 2016 nearly 15 percent of sales at online stores were generated through smartphones/tablets.

Digital Marketing
Digital ad spending is estimated at 1.7 Billion Euros in 2017,according to IAB Spain Digital Ad Spending Report. It includes SEM, display + video and represents 31.6% of traditional marketing, coming just after television that accounts for 38.6% of investment. (Source: https://www.slideshare.net/IAB_Europe/iab-spain-digital-ad-spend-2017-report)

Major Buying Holidays
  • Epiphany/Day of Three Kings (January 6, 2020)
  • Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2020)
  • Father’s Day (March 19, 2020)
  • Mother’s Day (May 4, 2020)
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday (November 28, 2019) - While Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Spain, there has been increased adoption in the market as a pre-Christmas sales driver since 2012.
  • Christmas (December 25)

Social Media
Facebook is the most used social media tool in Spain (91 percent), followed by WhatsApp (89 percent), YouTube (71 percent), Twitter (50 percent), and Instagram (45 percent), according to the Annual Report of Social Networks released by IAB Spain. Nonetheless, 51 percent of consumers check the official brand website before purchasing, compared to 27% across social media. There are currently 28 million active social media users (60% of the total population) in Spain, 24 million of which are mobile social media users. This represents a 3.7% rise and 4.3% rise from 2018, respectively. (Source: https://www.slideshare.net/DataReportal/digital-2019-spain-en-january-2019-v01)

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Spain eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce