The Oban Blog

The online future of Spain: the light at the end of the crisis

Despite the economic slump of the Eurozone that still resonates today, the continent is slowly fighting back to its prerecession days. Leading EU countries like Germany and France are expected to grow, driven by factors such as domestic demand and private consumption. With B2C ecommerce sales in Western Europe expected to reach $438.31 billion by 20161.

While a wave of optimism is slowly sweeping the Eurozone, a handful of nations still remain cautious. Southern European countries such as Greece still face an uncertain future ahead. Others like Spain are gradually emerging from the economic rubble, with sectors like online ecommerce gaining momentum.

Spain’s aftermath 

Years of struggle left a deep mark on the Spanish economy. In 2011, while still in economic turmoil, e-commerce was one of the few sectors that experienced double digit-growth; climbing to 27.4% compared to 2010 and reaching a total turnover of approximately 2.4 billion euros2.

Forecasts predict Spain to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% and a 10% increase in B2C by 2016. Positioning Spain as one of the top European countries in terms of B2C e-commerce growth and second only to Italy, whose B2C growth is expected to reach 12.4% by 2016 above Nordic countries like Sweden (9%) and Norway (7.4%).


 (Source: Emarketer, 2013)

The online outlook

Ecommerce growth in Spain is led by a rising number of new online consumers, with an increase from 13.4 million in 2011 to 15.9 million in 2013. This trend is expected to rise, reaching an impressive 19.5 million digital buyers by 20163.

Existing online consumers will also look to increase their online spending as stability returns. With 57% of Spanish e-traders expect their customer’s average online order value to climb by more than 10% in 20144. In addition to this a great number of these existing digital buyers are heading towards a mobile and tablet dominated future:

25% of smartphone users made a purchase online in 2012

80% of users conducted product searches on mobile browsers (2012)

63% of Spanish smartphone shoppers make mobile purchases at least once a month5

As users change the way they shop online so will e-tailers and their need for offering mobile optimised services. With only 53% of ecommerce sites adapted for mobile devices, responsive design websites and mobile optimised sites will become a necessity.


1 eMarketer: Double Digit eCommerce Growth Story Continues in Western Europe
2 Spanish telecommunications regulator CMT
3 Statista: Number of Digital Buyers in Spain from 2011 to 2016
4 eMarketer: What’s Next Ecommerce Spain
5 Google’s Our Mobile Planet Report