Tablets, Smartphones, E-commerce: Digital Business in Spain

Tablets, Smartphones, E-commerce: Spain Goes Digital

Tablets, Smartphones, E-commerce: Digital Business in Spain

Spain is getting a reputation for being a hotbed of Internet users, whether it be time spent on the computer, smartphone or tablet. Tablet penetration in Spain is double the European average and is set to increase over the next few years. Spain is also the country with the highest penetration of smartphones in Europe at 66 per cent. And consumers are going online to buy everything from food and clothes to health insurance and train tickets.

Business-to-Consumer e-commerce in Spain grew 13.4 per cent to nearly 12.4 billion euros in 2012 from a year earlier, according to research carried out by the National Observatory for Telecommunications and the Information Society. While the increase is less than the just under 20 per cent rise registered in 2011, it is nevertheless significant in the context of the ongoing economic crisis.

As indeed is the 15.1 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of consumers who bought goods or services via mobile applications in 2012.

Online buyer penetration among Internet users in Spain ranked among the top five in the European Union in 2012 at just under 50 per cent, according to an eMarketer study.

So what do Spaniards buy online and why?


The Internet is an electronic gateway to the world, a small window in the consumer’s home or office, giving direct access to an Aladdin’s cave of products and services from around the world. There is no intermediary service involved, which often makes goods and services bought online cheaper than those on offer at a bricks-and-mortars retailer.

Another advantage is the time-saving element of shopping online: product information is instantly available, and long check-out queues are avoided.

Travel and tourism were the top e-commerce category in Spain in 2012 and 2013. Clothing retail goods were also in demand.


Spanish entrepreneurs have cashed in on the tourism revival, developing mobile phone apps for last-minute hotel bookings. With the popularity of smartphones on the rise, this formula is proving to be very successful.

Well-established companies in other industries have also gone digital. 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 first flagship Zara’s online store in 2011.

Apart from smartphone applications, responsive websites and emailers are all playing a pivotal role for retail businesses. Responsive websites are aimed at providing an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, from mobile phones and tablets to desktop computer monitors.

So a great marketing tool with which to target a Spanish multi-device household!

For information on Spain’s digital business, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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