Spain is now a digitally mature market

Updated: 5 days ago

The digital advancements in Spain may have come a lot further than you think. 20.3 million Spaniards, in the ages 16 to 65, buy online. 48% women/ 52% men. What's App and Facebook usage is still dominating the social media usage with LinkedIn advancing.

20.3 million Spaniards, in the ages 16 to 65, buy online. 48% women/ 52% men

I have been talking to a few investors and startup founders the recent two years. For the sake of context they are mostly from the Nordic countries and from the UK. The conversation starts off with them saying that they are looking to maybe expand into Spain.


Long story short, after a few months the decision is often taken to start with an English-speaking market. Fast-forward a few more months the perceived "easier route" has often ended up becoming a costly route, because of all the expected and unexpected competition.

An advice upon embarking on the market expansion journey is often to ”start with a market resembling to your home market.” This is of course good advice and also depends on your risk-versus-reward willingness.


But if both the founding team and the backing investors are really open to expanding into any market(s) that are really needing their product or service, could that mean taking a closer look at a different-looking market, providing it shows high potential in terms of key metrics? Like Spain for example?


What makes Spain a viable option in the market expansion plan 2020?


Spain has done a remarkable recovery after the recession in 2008, with a turn-around starting back in 2015. Today the Spanish economy is the strongest motor in the Euro-zone, presenting some really interesting opportunities for any tech startup/scale-up looking to expand into a new market.

So let's go over some relevant facts and numbers that you might, or might not, be aware of:


Strong Internet connection?


The biggest cities have great connection and at a quick speed. The Spanish government is also in this very moment making sure that this modern must-have reaches all of Spain, into all the smaller villages with its massive investment in Fiber for everyone.


Willingness to pay online?


This is a valid question since it is still true that cash payments are very common and preferred by many consumers. To make it more convenient and secure to pay online American giants like PayPal and Amazon have done a great job of wining the Spanish people's trust and PayPal stands for at least 10%* of all the payments done online.


*The usage of PayPal+ Amazon in Spain is mentioned to be even higher in other articles.


Recently Debit and Credit cards usage have gain a lot more traction, implying that the fear of providing your card details to an unfamiliar, digital entity is disappearing.

Now that the e-commerce space is showing signs of maturity, more and more online payments services are being added to the mix in Spain. So I wouldn't be surprised if a big piece of this percentage pie is chewed up by a few newcomers in next year's update.


Actual market size online?


The recently published IAB report shows that 7 out of 10 all Spanish internet users are buying online. This equals 20.3 million Spaniards in the age 16 to 65 years, 48% women/ 52% men.

Considering that the amount of Spaniards going online is steadily increasing every year (Internautas) the future potential of online commerce in Spain looks very promising.

Image credit: Modified screenshot from #IABeCommerce2018

Key drivers to purchase online?


Spanish people value social time off screen and many much prefer to interact physically with someone to buy a product or service.


However, convenience is a very attractive concept and stands for 97% of the driving reason for why Spanish people buy online, after the variable "Price" which comes in at 93%.

Image credit: Modified screenshot from #IABeCommerce2018

Social media usage?


For the startups with an established "magical" digital marketing mix wanting to recycle already well-working ads in Social media onto their Spanish accounts, there is good news.


There is a high social media usage of the usual suspects like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Image credit: Modified screenshot from #IABeCommerce2018

Just remember that the key for success in Spain is to look for strategic partnerships, ...

you guessed it offline. :)


Did you find this interesting? Do you agree? Or disagree? I so love an interesting conversation and would love to hear your thoughts. Please do leave a comment!!


Crafted by Caroline Lagergren.

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