E-commerce in Spain
Shopping culture could stand in the way of e-commerce growth.
Spain is one of the Western Europe- an countries that has lagged behind in e-commerce, but is now one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets. Today, 94% of Spaniards have access to the internet, and 92% have made a purchase online.
Just like in Italy, the EU has been a key player in the roll-out of digital infrastructure. The EU has allocated a lot of money, especially in Southern Europe, to enabling a single digital market and better exchange of goods and services online.
Impact of the coronavirus pandemic
Economically, Spain has been hit hard by the pandemic. Last year, the country had a GDP loss of about eight percent. However, Spain is one of the first countries to receive money from the EU’s coronavirus fund, which, together with the reopening of society, is expected to stabilize GDP during the year. Despite a decline in consumption, e-commerce seems to have benefited from the trend. As many as 52 percent of Spanish consumers state that they have shopped online more often as a result of the pandemic.
Amazon is the favorite marketplace of Spanish consumers, and the company has also launched Amazon Fresh in the country this year. The service offers Prime customers home delivery of fresh produce on the day the order is placed. This new addition increases competition with the second most popular marketplace, El Corte Inglés. This domestic e-commerce market participant was originally a physical department store established throughout Spain. Like Amazon, the company offers its customers everything from groceries to clothing and pet products.
The logistics problem with e-commerce
There are various theories as to why Spain is lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of e-commerce. A weaker economy in the wake of the financial crisis could be one reason. Historically lower internet usage is also a key factor. Spain is also a peninsula with poorer logistics connections than, for example, Germany, which makes deliveries more time-consuming and costly. Cultural aspects may also be a reason. It is more common in southern European countries for food shopping to be a shared experience, which can make it more difficult to establish online grocery retailing.
Source: E-commerce in Europe 2021