Spain - Commercial Guide

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 date: 2020-08-07

Current Buyer Behavior in Market

During 2019, the Spanish eCommerce sector continued the very positive double-digit growth, as in previous years. The sector remains highly competitive and offers opportunities for U.S. companies. Due to the international health crisis beginning in early 2020, this trend in Spain has only strengthened by enticing both companies and consumers to accelerate the adoption of ecommerce.

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 91 percent, with 42 million users in January 2020.

There are three main trends in the Spanish eCommerce market. 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, fueling eCommerce growth. Lastly, as the market expands, the need to integrate analytics, artificial intelligence, big data, and chatbots is more relevant to industry participants. Popular eCommerce sites in Spain are:

The Spanish Markets and Competition Commission has developed detailed eCommerce statistical data by quarter, based on credit card payment information for eCommerce transactions.    

Top product categories for online purchases by consumers were travel and hotel, ticket services, clothing, electronics, and food, with the value of most purchases ranging from $100 - $500. Credit cards were one of the most widely used payment methods, followed by Paypal.

Major Buying Holidays

  • Epiphany/Day of Three Kings (January 6, 2021)
  • Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2021)
  • Father’s Day (March 19, 2021)
  • Mother’s Day (May 4, 2021)
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday
  • Christmas (December 25)

Local eCommerce Sales Rules & Regulations

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

Local eCommerce Business Service Provider Ecosystem

The number of companies and the depth of their eCommerce-related services related to logistics, shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment has recently seen a significant growth in Spain. The U.S. Commercial Service can assist in identifying a reliable partner. Most of them are members of Adigital, the leading association focusing on eCommerce and the digital economy in Spain. Adigital, for example, has developed the most widely used seal of confidence for eCommerce websites in Spain, called “Confianza Online”. Meanwhile, in Europe the seal of confidence more used is “TrustedShops”,

Amazon announced plans to create 2,000 new jobs in Spain throughout 2020, raising its permanent workforce to 9,000 employees by 2021. There are more than 8,000 Spanish SMEs currently selling on the Amazon Spain platform.

Digital marketing is another important component. Digital ad spending was 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 percent of traditional marketing, coming just after television, which accounts for 38.6 percent of investment.

The main in-country events focused on eCommerce include E-Show Madrid, co-hosted with the Technology for Marketing, which is next scheduled to take place October 28-29, 2020 in Madrid.  Regarding logistics and ‘Last Mile’, the primary event is eDelivery Barcelona Expo and Congress (June 1-3, 2021).  Another pertinent Show is DES2020 Digital Enterprise Show (September 15-17, 2020 in Madrid).