What will you learn in our guide on expanding into Spain?
To start off with, we will look at the specifics of the Spanish market, how their economy is doing and why it’s worthwhile to expand there. You will learn about the best-selling products and categories and find out how Spanish customers think, and how you should adapt your marketing strategy based on this data.
You will find out what an online store should look like if you want to expand it, what information must not be missing from the product descriptions and which are the preferred payment and delivery methods.
We will also show you a great free tool to help you analyse suitable markets for expansion.
Why expand to the Spanish market?
- Spain is the 15th largest e-commerce market in the world with an estimated turnover of almost 30 million dollars in 2023. This places it ahead of Denmark and the Scandinavian region.
- The Spanish like to shop – a lot. Online sales accounted for almost 6% of Spain’s GDP in 2022. By comparison, in 2021 the global average was just 2.5%.
- The market is developed, but still continuously growing. According to forecasts, Spanish e-commerce will grow by roughly 7% year-on-year until 2027.
- Thanks to membership in the European Union and the Eurozone, you can use the single currency and benefit from free trade.
Electronics dominate online shopping in Spain
For several years, fashion was the most profitable category in the Spanish e-commerce sector, but in 2022 it was overtaken by electronics, which account for a quarter of all online sales revenue.
However, if we were to look at Spanish e-commerce from the point of view of the popularity of individual categories, the ranking looks somewhat different.
In a Statista.com survey, respondents were asked the question: “Which of these products have you purchased online in the last 12 months?”. Fashion ranked first, followed by footwear, and books, games, movies and music ranked third.
How much interest is there in the Spanish market for your segment?
You can verify the appeal of a specific segment or product using the free Google Market Explorer tool. This tool will show you suitable countries for expansion based on the likely demand for your products or services.
For example, you will learn how much you can expect to pay for advertising in your segment. Based on the pricing, you will get an overview of market saturation and the strength of the competition.
This tool is a great helper to get you started. However, it will not be able to resolve more complex questions or deliver precise analyses. For those, you will need professional export tools.
When looking at data on Spain, you can also find out the answer to following questions:
- Is the demand for my product increasing or decreasing?
- How much does the competition pay to display ads?
- To what extent is my segment covered by advertising?
- What sales channels should I use in the Spanish market?
If you are considering entering a new market, we will answer all your questions by using Google’s export tools. Let’s connect.
Amazon has dominated e-commerce in Spain
In 2023, the Amazon.es platform dominated the Spanish e-commerce market with approximately 186.5 million monthly visits, which ranked it in first place among online marketplaces.
Other leading e-commerce sites include Aliexpress.com, Elcorteingles.es, Milanuncios.com and Wallapop.com.
These platforms are key players in the market, with Spain’s Amazon accounting for around a third of all desktop internet browsing and online shopping.
Online shopping in Spain: What are Spanish customers like?
Out of the approximately 47 million Spanish, more than 70% shop online. In order to find your loyal customers among them, you need to understand their buying behaviour.
They prefer local sellers
The Spanish love quality products with a touch of “Spanishness”. But that doesn’t mean you have to pack your products in flamenco-themed red boxes.
- You can blend in with the surroundings by utilising high-quality translations. Do not translate texts through online translators or artificial intelligence. If you use these tools, have the texts checked by a native speaker.
- Try to establish partnerships with local influencers.
- Use Spanish holidays, customs and traditions in your marketing campaigns.
- Make sure that all the information that is delivered to the customer with the parcel is in Spanish.
- Adapt campaigns to what is happening in the country.
Example: In March 2022, a huge dust storm hit Spain, along with other countries, covering everything (including cars) with a layer of dust. KFC Spain immediately came up with a creative campaign where they invited people to draw the KFC logo on their cars. Everyone who came to a KFC store in a car adorned in such a way received two portions of chicken strips for free. Within 48 hours, the campaign gained 9.5 million impressions and 740,350 interactions on Twitter.
They make decisions based on price
Price is a key factor in the final purchase decision. A quarter of Spanish customers will abandon a trusted online store if they find the same or a similar product in another online store for a better price.
However, you should use special offers and sales carefully in your campaigns so that discounts do not last 365 days a year. You can increase the perceived value of an order with a free gift, valid from a certain minimum order amount.
They abandon baskets
Worldwide, almost 7 out of 10 shoppers abandon their shopping cart. In Spain, the situation is even more complex, and almost 90% of customers abandon shopping carts, making the Spanish a world leader in the highest proportion of unfinished purchases.
What can you do about this as an online store expanding into Spain? First of all, be aware that this is their typical behaviour. It’s worth knowing that, according to surveys, shopping carts are most often abandoned due to:
- the price of goods or services,
- lack of payment gateways,
- lack of free delivery and free returns,
- requiring too much personal data when ordering,
- mistrust if essential information is missing from the website.
You can easily solve these concerns in such a way that they simply do not arise. Make sure your online store provides all the information that customers are looking for – and need. What must you not forget?
Preferred shipping in Spanish e-commerce
The Spanish demand fast delivery, easy returns and transparent communication throughout the entire purchase and delivery process. The most frequently used delivery companies are FedEx, TNT, SEUR (DPD) and DHL.
Things to consider:
- Almost 65% of Spanish admit that free delivery is one of the most important factors when it comes to decision-making.
- Half of Spanish customers are willing to pay extra for fast, same-day delivery.
- 39% of customers give up on the order if they have to pay for returns.
What are the key take-aways?
- We recommend listing the delivery companies, which the online store offers, directly on the website.
- Communicate the price and terms of delivery transparently and in advance.
- If you offer free shipping, advertise it prominently, ideally right next to each product.
- Offer express delivery for an additional fee.
Payment methods in Spanish e-commerce
The most popular payment methods in Spain are credit/debit cards and e-wallets, with PayPal claiming the first position in this category. Payment by card and PayPal are the basis for every online store expanding into Spain. If you can, expand your payment options to also include bank transfers, Apple, Amazon and Google Pay.
What should an online store in Spain look like?
When expanding, it is not enough to translate the existing online store into Spanish. You have to adapt its UX design and individual elements to customer expectations.
From our experience of the Spanish market, the following elements increase the click-through rate from the homepage:
- discounts, sales and special events,
- high quality product photos,
- clear information about the delivery cost,
- visible access to customer support,
- displaying the various payment options,
- displaying the best-rated products.
What must not be missing from the product description?
A 2023 Google survey found that almost half of Spanish will close a website if they do not find the most important information directly in the product description. Therefore, before you expand, check and edit the texts carefully so that they include:
- the price,
- delivery information,
- product photos,
- payment options,
- a link to the returns policy,
- information on data protection,
- reviews (these increase the conversion rate by almost 15%)
- and a link to FAQs (frequently asked questions).
Are you interested in more data on Spanish e-commerce? Download a free detailed expansion guide for the B2B and B2C segment.
Localised customer support
Language is a key link in building trust. Excellent translations, detailed FAQs and localisation of the online store are the basic prerequisites for a successful expansion into the Spanish market.
The rule for all texts is simple. Want to sell in Spain? Communicate in Spanish.
Avoid automated translations, which often lack the “human” element. Furthermore, ensure that if needed, potential and existing customers can contact Spanish-speaking customer support on a Spanish phone number.
Come and expand with minimal risk
Not sure if Spain is the most suitable market for you? Get in touch and we will conduct a detailed export analysis based on the latest data so that you can expand predictably and into the most suitable market for your product.