With countries reopening at different speeds as a result of the pandemic, retail trends are continuing to evolve. They’re slowly returning to a new normal, compared to what they were in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Spain, for example, the largest country in southern Europe and the fourth largest economy in Europe, the pandemic has greatly impacted the ways in which consumers shop.
Our partner, RetailX, explored the retail trends surfacing in Spain over the past year as a result of coronavirus and other factors in their latest report.
In 2021 Spain had an 11% decrease in GDP and, for the first time since 2013, a rise in unemployment rates. This was, in part, due to their reliance on tourism, which accounts for at least 10% of Spain’s GDP.
But, things are looking up for Spain. As the first country to gain recovery plan approval from the EU, Spain plans to focus on small businesses and, in particular, the digital transformation of these small businesses.
If you’re interested in a more detailed breakdown, download the full report.
Why, How, Where?
The Motivation Behind Clicking
With brands being pressured to adopt ecommerce channels to reach shoppers at home during the pandemic, differences started to emerge in the way various age groups of Spanish consumers shop.
As Mike McGuire, VP of Sales EMEA at Iterable, highlighted in the report, younger shoppers have begun to rely on ecommerce for fashion while older shoppers have started using ecommerce for finding hobbies.
According to a Statista Global Consumer Survey, across all age groups, however, the top reasons Spanish consumers shift to shopping online include:
- Direct delivery to my home (65%)
- Around-the-clock availability (61%)
- Cheaper prices (53%)
- Greater product range (52%)
- More convenient way of shopping (48%)
With storefronts closing during the pandemic, lower-priced items became more important for Spanish consumers. Similar to what we saw in RetailX’s Germany Ecommerce Country Report, we’d expect larger, bulkier items to align with home delivery, but with the reduced ability and desire to buy anything in-store, smaller items became the priority for most age groups.
Interestingly, almost every age group had different top purchase categories in 2020:
- For ages 18-34 it was “bags and accessories”
- For ages 35-44 it was “household and appliances”
- For ages 45-54 it was a tie between “DIY, garden, and pet products” and “sports and outdoor products”
- For ages 55-64 it was “DIY, garden, and pet products”
Stuck at home, with little to entertain them, many Spanish shoppers turned to buying activities and games online. But, making an online purchase requires consumers to research the products to ensure they’re as advertised.
For Ecommerce, Web Research Continues to Be Highly Valued
When shopping online, shoppers often conduct more product research than they would in-store. By not touching and feeling the product in-person, Spanish shoppers turn to other resources to help guide their buying decisions. In 2020, the top resources for information while shopping were:
- The retailer’s website (57%)
- Friends/relatives (48%)
- Opinion blogs and forums (46%)
- Social media (36%)
- Others (25%)
- Go to the store (4%)
While the amount of product research on retailers’ sites, reliance on friends for recommendations, and searching opinion blogs remained consistent or had slight growth compared to 2019, one noticeable shift in 2020 was the amount Spanish shoppers depended on social media to influence their purchase decisions.
Increasing from 24% in 2019 to 36% in 2020, it’s clear that shoppers were more reliant on social media as a source of information during the pandemic. With more brands creating first-time ecommerce experiences during COVID, meaning friends and blogs couldn’t provide past experiences, consumers were likely looking for other people who had shopped with these brands online.
Not only did the shopping categories and research sources shift, but the devices used in actually making the purchase shifted as well.
Mobile Ecommerce Growth
When looking at where shoppers did their ecommerce shopping, some trends emerged. Unsurprisingly, consumers ages 55-64 made up the largest percentage of desktop shoppers (24%). However, when looking at the percentage of mobile shoppers per age range, the percentages are fairly even, hovering around 10%.
When looking at devices used for online purchases since 2017, there is a clear frontrunner in terms of adoption. Since 2017:
- Desktop usage decreased 12%
- Mobile usages increased 18%
- Tablet usage decreased 2%
- Smart TV and console usage increased 3%
In Spain, mobile usage for ecommerce actually increased 8% from 2017 to 2018, another 8% from 2018 to 2019, and 2% from 2019 to 2020. So, it appears the pandemic wasn’t necessarily the catalyst for mobile shopping adoption, but the availability of smartphones likely contributed.
Mobile sales, however, are expected to continue to grow. In 2023, for example, mobile sales are expected to hit $16.25 billion, compared to $13.9 billion in 2021. In fact, RetailX states, “mcommerce in Spain [is] expected to grow faster than any other country in Western Europe in the next two years.”
Besides the expected increase in mobile shopping, the future of ecommerce in Spain holds endless potential.
Retail and Ecommerce in Spain Going Forward
Some major shifts in Spain’s 2020 ecommerce trends include shopping categories and preferred devices, but there are other noteworthy changes that could completely reshape the way Spaniards shop.
With increased awareness about the environment and, specifically, climate change, shoppers in Spain are becoming more aware of sustainability. 48% of shoppers said they agree that retailers should be ecologically sustainable. Consumers are expecting more from brands than just the products they sell.
Consumers expect personalized experience and that includes what causes they support. To make a real impact, brands need to be able to gather information about what matters to customers and find ways to relate to those causes, not only to win over the customer, but to make an impact on the planet.
Hear more about how Spanish customer, Housfy, gained control of their campaigns by switching to Iterable:
To learn how Iterable works to create a seamless, cross-channel retail shopping experience, request a demo today!