During 2016, the Spanish eCommerce sector grew significantly, both in the B2C and B2B areas. It has experienced double-digit growth even during the past economic downturn. 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 UK, Germany and France. Internet penetration in Spain is estimated to be 79 percent.
Current Market Trends
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 and third party ecommerce intelligence service providers is growing.
Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
Top product categories for online purchases by consumers were travel and hotel, direct marketing, ticket services, electronics, clothing and food. 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.
For consumers, while in Europe the online seal of confidence is “TrustedShops”. In Spain the most widely used one is called “Confianza Online”.
The large majority of cross border ecommerce is completed with other EU countries, representing over 92 percent of the total cross-border amount.
According to the Spanish Statistical Office, over 20 percent of companies with more than 10 employees made sales in 2015 through ecommerce, while 32 percent made purchases. B2B eCommerce annual business volume in Spain is estimated to be around USD 60 billion.
There has been a significant recent growth in the number of companies and depth of their eCommerce-related services offered in Spain related to logistics, shipping warehousing and fullfillment. 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
The prefered online payment method for consumers in Spain, estimated at 90% of the total, is by debit/credit card, followed by Paypal. Ecommerce players are adding new payment/consumer financing options to improve conversion rate.
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 nearly fifteen percent of sales at online stores were generated through smartphones/tablets in 2016.
Digital ad spending in Desktop and Mobile is estimated at 1.5 Billion Euros in 2016, with search-related spending representing 783 Million Euros, according to IAB Spain Digital Ad Spending Report.
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.