Evolution of online commerce in Spain


Published 11/01/2021 · 3 min read

Let nothing blind you, unless it is the flashes of light that your growth gives off. If you have an online shop in Spain, you are now part of the 10.9 billion euros that e-commerce reached in the first quarter of 2019. And of the more than 20% of today’s growth in important sectors, with fashion and electronics at the top.

If before the pandemic, internet and the digital economy were already transforming every aspect of our lives, with the arrival of COVID-19 and security measures to prevent further infection, eCommerce figures soar. The data speaks for itself. Users are moving forward. And commerce adapts. The less physical money we touch and the less contact we have in the establishments, the better. 

Let's delve into the evolution of online commerce in Spain!


How is online commerce evolving? History

If anything has become clear from the first lines, it is that e-commerce has a strong impact on the Spanish economy. To find out its origin we have to dig into the 1990s, in parallel with the emergence of the Internet.

The network of networks has been a great discovery for everyone. In fact, it still surprises us. Not only has it made possible immediacy, globalisation and dematerialisation, but also the possibility to offer an endless number of channels and payment methods to ensure omnichannel experiences for online commerce customers.

If we add to all of this the growth of online users and consumers, the need for appropriate regulatory regulation becomes apparent. The first would come in 1996 under the name of Retail Trade Regulation.  Its aim was to regulate distance sales, without simultaneous physical presence between the two, and it included the times limits for carrying out transactions, credit card payments and the operation, among other things.

Law 7/1996 of January 15th not only marked a before and after in distance selling, but it also required to include certain information and conditions in online shops (right of withdrawal, detailed information about suppliers, characteristics, shipping costs, payment methods, modality of the offer, etc.).

Six years later, Law 34/2002, of July 11th, on Services of the Society of Information and Electronic Commerce came into force. It has been the law that has regulated eCommerce for a long time, and it regulates all the obligations of the seller when selling products online. It includes the need to publish a range of data for the protection of customers (first name and surname, email address, social identification number...) and it requires the customer to provide all the information regarding the electronic contracting process, as well as the cookies policy (including a consent procedure prior to the use of cookies).

Of course, Organic Law 3/2015, of December 5th, on the Protection of Personal Data and the Guarantee of Digital Rights  would also mean a change for e-commerce. "All companies that have personal data of third parties are required to register with the Data Protection Agency and to guarantee the protection and processing of data". This law would be subsequently edited to publish the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) instead .

With the aim of improving the European market for online payments, PSD2 regulations would follow. With it, both consumers and sellers can obtain great advantages from the European internal market, as far as eCommerce is concerned. And to do so, they need to fuel competition in payment methods services. In this sense, payment gateways are a perfect option to keep your business safe, because with them you can easily comply with regulations and increase consumer confidence. Not only does it allow you to optimise rejected transactions, but also to monitor the business and control all transactions.

The turnover of Spanish e-commerce in 2018 closed the year with a 26.9% year-on-year increase, reaching 10.8 billion euros. A year later, this figure increased by 25% in the first half of 2019, with figures of more than 22.9 billion euros, according to the E-Commerce Report . In addition, more than half of online purchases of products were made with a foreign company. 

Consumption habits are moving towards the omnichannel shopping experience. For this reason, more and more fintech companies are offering omnichannel payment methods and systems with a wide variety of payment methods and currencies.

In short, everything that online commerce needs to adapt to the needs, circumstances and demands of the consumer and ensure the best possible user experience. We are not only talking about Virtual POS, but also about payments by voice recognition, selfie pay, SMS, link, email, or even by QR code.

ECommerce seeks to offer much more customised experiences, and some of the consumer habits that are growing the most are:

  • Searching for information, comparing offers, products and shops before making the purchase.
  • Preference for purchases through the smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Great relevance of marketplaces.
  • Use of different forms of payment, especially those with which they feel the most comfortable.
  • Increasing demand for digital content and subscriptions.

There is something that despite the great evolution of online commerce in Spain has not changed. The importance of payment. It's the key moment of the purchase process, so eCommerce needs to ensure a safe experience to gain the trust of consumers.


To conclude, the evolution of eCommerce in Spain

You are part of this growth, because, in one way or another, you participate in making e-commerce possible. Whether it is because you have an online shop, because you buy in one of them or simply because you like to be aware of trends, you are part of its evolution.

What can we expect from eCommerce in the last quarter of 2020? And for next year? How does the pandemic influence users' consumption habits?

All of this and much more in our blog! Follow us every week.

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