IESE Insight

10 trends shaping e-commerce in Spain

The typical online shopper uses their mobile phone, pays with a credit card and is influenced most by social media. That is according to a 2021 study of the future of e-commerce in Spain.

Trends shaping e-commerce in Spain.

December 15, 2021

The pandemic has ushered in more online shopping in Spain. Six out of 10 Spanish shoppers say that they bought more online over the past year.

This is one finding from the first joint study on the future of e-commerce in Spain conducted by e-commerce site Veepee and IESE. The study analyzes current shopping trends and points to those with the most potential for the future. Here are 10 highlights to better understand Spanish e-commerce now:

1. Electronic commerce in Spain is at a time of great growth. Nearly 59% of customers said they had increased their online shopping in the last 12 months.

2. Most online shoppers are already making purchases at least once a month. Nearly 25% buy something each week, while another 40% buy something each month.

3. The two most sought-after product categories for post-pandemic purchases are fashion and travel. More than 36% of shoppers surveyed believe they will buy more clothes and accessories via the internet once the pandemic has passed. Travel is a close second, with almost 35% planning to book post-pandemic trips online. The next three categories are technology (34%), followed by tickets to concerts and shows (31%) and then delivery from restaurants (26%).

4. Online shopping decisions are influenced by various forms of media -- most especially social media. In the survey, 80% of consumers acknowledge being influenced by the media in their purchase decisions. Which types of media were most powerful? Social networks were the top influencer for 50% of respondents, while television came a distant second for 33%.

5. Frequent online shoppers are significantly more likely to report being influenced by online media. Those who reported buying online on a weekly basis said their purchases were influenced by social media (55%), online ads (22%) and podcasts (10%), to name the top three online media categories. Those channels had less influence on the decisions of occasional online shoppers.

6. Multi-brand online marketplaces were favored for their variety of offerings and for competitive prices. Compared to online specialty stores or physical stores, online marketplaces were preferred for their wide variety of products (favored by 58% of respondents), followed by their lower prices (favored by 51% of respondents).

7. The delivery price and the flexibility of the delivery date can be key for closing online sales. More than half (52%) of respondents say they will not buy a product online if they must pay for its delivery, and 40% say they won't click "buy" if the delivery date is not specified first.

8. Credit card is the preferred method of payment. Most consumers (83%) prefer paying by credit or debit card because of the convenience and speed. Less than 2% of respondents say they prefer cryptocurrencies for online purchases.

9. Mobile phones are, by far, the preferred way to make online purchases. In the survey, 75% of respondents have bought items via smartphones, followed by 48% with laptops and 31% with desktop computers.

10. Online shoppers don't want to pay more to be greener. A resounding 64% said they would refuse to pay more for an environmentally friendly product or service. Of those who said they would pay to be greener, most wouldn't go beyond a 10% price premium.

Methodology, very briefly
The authors of the report first analyzed prevailing e-commerce trends in 149 different relevant articles, interviews and studies as well as in Twitter conversations via Talkwalker's social listening tool. They then constructed a survey to ask about the trends. The survey was completed by 1,646 online shoppers in Spain between the ages of 16 and 65 over the last year.

The full study (in Spanish) can be downloaded here: "I Estudio Veepee-IESE sobre el futuro del ecommerce en España".