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Monthly Market Spotlight: Spain

Posted 01 June 2021

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Although Spain has traditionally been behind France and Germany in terms of e-commerce markets, its speedy acceptance of mobile commerce and fast-evolving digital payment methods make it a rising star for brands seeking new pastures in western Europe.

Follow our guide below to get the inside market knowledge you’ll need to find success in this vibrant and exciting country.

Spain: Key Market Data

Spain’s e-commerce market is currently valued at US$23 billion in 2021, placing it 13th in the world’s largest e-commerce market ranking. Although the recent recession caused severe setbacks for Spain’s economy as a whole, e-commerce was one of the few sectors that experienced significant growth in 2011 and 2012. This level of growth is predicted to continue, with the market expected to hit US$29 billion by 2025.

Digital Marketing in Spain

As of January 2021, there were 42.5 million internet users in Spain, indicating 91% internet penetration. In the same period, the number of mobile connections was equivalent to 116.2% of the entire population – this being so, it is vital that you optimise your website for consumption on mobile devices. Factors to focus on include page load times and rendering on smaller screens.

Google dominates the search engine market share in Spain with over 97% of queries made on Alphabet’s platform, followed by Bing (2%) and Yahoo (1%). There are no native Spanish search engines that garner enough interest to consider as part of your marketing strategy.

Search Engine Optimisation

While search engine optimisation techniques are generally the same from market to market, it is important to ensure your keyword research is conducted in Spanish and a professional translator localises your pages. Be mindful of regional language variants. In Catalonia, the regional language, Catalan, will engage better with that population than Castilian Spanish. On the other hand, Basque would work well for regional campaigns, but its small population may not justify the localisation costs for the Basque language.

Social Media

Spain had more than 29 million social media users in January 2020, equating to 62% of the population. WhatsApp is the most used platform (88% of users), followed by Facebook (87%), YouTube (68%), Instagram (54%) and Twitter (50%). Instagram has seen the largest growth over the last 24 months, with a significant base of influencers promoting B2C products.

Pay Per Click

Paid Google search and display campaigns are especially effective in this market due to the high numbers of search engine and YouTube users. Facebook is also a particularly powerful advertising platform due to its advanced targeting options.

Email Marketing

Spanish B2B and B2C companies continue to invest significant proportions of their marketing budgets in email marketing as the results from this channel are some of the highest in Europe. The average open rate for email campaigns stands at 28.26%, making email a cost-effective way to engage with customers. As Spain is an EU nation, care must be taken to remain GDPR compliant.

Legal Requirements

All company websites for businesses trading in Spain must provide the following information:

  • Company name
  • Head office address
  • Telephone and email contact details
  • Terms of use and conditions
  • Cookie policy or privacy policy

For more information on the legal requirements for trading in Spain, please refer to this guide.

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Website Domain

Using a .es domain for your Spanish-facing company website is a key factor in achieving a high conversion rate as a .es domain is seen as more trustworthy by Spanish consumers. A lack of confidence in an online merchant is the main reason for cart abandonments in this market.

Other reasons for incomplete transactions include:

  • Lack of a clear returns policy
  • No free shipping
  • Inflexibility of payment methods

Website Design

Creating a visually appealing website that is user-centric is important for every market you are trading in. However, as with all cultures, colours bring with them symbolic value.

In Spain, blue is the colour of trust, safety and stability, and although red is often seen as representing danger in English-speaking countries, it provokes thoughts of passion, adventure and energy for the Spanish.

There are no colours that need to be specifically avoided. However, it is worth noting that yellow has come to represent the Catalonian separatist movement, which is a sensitive issue for many in the region, so use with caution.

If you’re thinking of expanding to Spain, or would like to find out how to get more out of your marketing spend, talk to the ALM team today!


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