3 Sectors with the most success in e-commerce

E-commerce

E-commerce

Spain is still a new kid on Europe’s e-commerce block compared with countries like the UK and Germany, largely because it has deep roots in a local commerce economy run by family-owned businesses. There is also no strong tradition of catalogue-based home shopping or paying for products ahead of delivery.

Be that as it may, online buyer penetration among internet users in Spain ranked among the top 5 in the European Union in 2012 at just under 50 percent, according to an eMarketer study. The online space is ripe for growth and this market offers attractive opportunities. Spain is expected to outpace the rest of Europe with annual e-commerce growth of 18 percent until 2017. In the last quarter of 2012, e-commerce sales grew 11.7 percent in Spain to a record 2.075 billion euros.

Travel and related services were the top e-commerce category in 2012, with clothing retail and property also in strong demand.

Travel

Barcelona-based travel portal eDreams is used in over 30 countries by people from all continents. It offers customers a complete holiday experience and not just a database of flights and hotels.

Holiday accommodation was the top category of product/services the most often purchased online in Spain in 2012, according to eMarketer.

Clothing Retail

Galicia-based Inditex, the world´s largest fashion retailer, arrived late to the online business but became a global e-commerce force with the opening of its “fast fashion” giant Zara’s online store in 2011. Zara’s customers can shop online in over 20 countries. Inditex will nearly double its online sales to over 600 million euros in 2013 versus 2012, according to Credit Suisse.

Real Estate

Idealista.com, founded in 2000 to take advantage of the housing boom, is considered the benchmark for Spanish property portals. Good mapping and country-wide coverage are key selling points.

Look and Find, the leading real estate network, has successfully maintained most of its local offices throughout Spain while embracing the e-commerce culture.

Merger Opportunities

The growth potential for e-commerce in Spain will fuel competition and, ultimately, mergers and acquisitions as companies pool resources to enhance their product range and grab a bigger market share.

  • In 2008, Idealista.com bought 45 percent of portal Rentalia to develop its business in the holiday rentals sector.
  • In 2012, Swiss-based tourism firm Bravofly acquired Spanish travel portal Rumbo.com to strengthen its leading position in the online travel industry in Europe.

If you are interested in investment opportunities in Spain’s e-commerce sector, fill out the contact form or leave a comment below.

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