Despite being relatively novel, e-commerce is progressively assuming a more pertinent role in the economies of numerous countries. This trend holds true in Spain, where e-commerce spending constituted nearly six percent of the country’s GDP in 2022, ranking among the highest in Europe. Moreover, forecasts suggest a steady rise in e-commerce users and the value of e-retail revenues until 2027, implying a more substantial contribution of online commerce to the Spanish economy in the coming years.
Trade-offs of going online
The convenience and affordability of e-commerce have led more and more Spanish consumers to satisfy their shopping desires online. Above all factors, convenience plays a pivotal role in the decision-making process for online purchases. The primary driving force behind the surge in online shopping in Spain is the availability of direct home delivery, combined with the ability to shop round-the-clock. However, for some consumers, e-commerce has yet to replace certain aspects of the in-person experience. As per a 2022 survey assessing attitudes towards online purchasing in Spain, close to a quarter of respondents wanted to see and touch an item before buying it. Meanwhile, about 16 percent expressed enthusiasm for integrating augmented and virtual reality technologies in their online shopping ventures.
A habit under construction
In Spain, consumers who opt for shopping online rather than in-store, regardless of the reason, mainly do so via desktop computers. Smartphones follow close behind but have yet to pass as the most used device for online purchases in the Iberian country. Despite its growing popularity, online shopping frequency and spending remain comparatively restricted among Spanish shoppers. In 2023, slightly over half of them engaged in online shopping at least once every two weeks, a proportion akin to those who maintained an average spending limit of 50 euros or less.
An increasingly interactive experience
Because the e-commerce landscape and consumer preferences are constantly changing, there is always room for new market trends to emerge. A prime example is the burgeoning interest in livestream commerce and the increased use of social networks for online sales and purchases. Recognizing the latent potential embedded within these platforms, by 2023, more than half of e-commerce professionals in Spain had harnessed the power of Facebook for commercial purposes, while 46 percent of merchants had utilized Instagram to further their business goals. Additionally, merchants have readily employed WhatsApp and YouTube, each used by approximately a third of businesses surveyed.
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