If you’re looking to grow your business internationally, the Spanish market is certainly one worth considering. After all, with an eCommerce market worth €18.2 billion, not to mention the fact that 41% of the population are already shopping online and a further 61% of those shoppers are willing to purchase from international sellers, there is a significant opportunity for cross-border trade in this country.
Below, we have compiled some key facts about the Spanish eCommerce market, as well as some key considerations for selling into the country and an overview of some of the most popular marketplaces in Spain.
Understanding the Spanish eCommerce market
While eCommerce in Spain has developed at a slower rate than other European markets, particularly the UK, France and Germany, it does in fact have the largest eCommerce market in Southern Europe.
As with any international market, certain product types will be more popular amongst consumers than others. As an example, in Spain, Clothing & Footwear are the most common online purchase, followed by Food & Drink, Media Products and Consumer Electronics respectively. For this reason, if you sell into any of these categories, it could be worth expanding into this market, although that’s not to say other types of products won’t be worthwhile – you will just need to do your research.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that by exporting into Spain, you are also opening up an entry route into Latin America. In fact, combined, the Latin American countries are Spain’s second biggest export market.
Key considerations for selling into Spain
Offer a selection of payment methods
While debit and credit card are the most commonly used payment method amongst Spanish consumers, you should also be providing them with the option to pay via PayPal or Google Wallet, in order to instil confidence with regards to security. When selling on a marketplace, we would also recommend that you check the payment options for each.
Have a simple returns policy
Spanish consumers expect a simple returns process and if they don’t feel confident in a sellers returns policy, they aren’t likely to complete the purchase. For this reason, make sure you are offering straight-forward guidance. When selling on a marketplace, it’s also important that you are complying with their own requirements for returns, for example having a local returns address.
If you’re not entirely sure on your options for handling international returns, we would recommend that you read our guest article from Ezi Returns. You can also watch our international returns webinar that we co-hosted with XSellco, for further advice on this topic.
Understand delivery expectations
While the option for free shipping is of course preferred by consumers in Spain and will make your listings more competitive, it isn’t mandatory to offer it. What’s also interesting is that the vast majority of Spanish shoppers expect their purchases to be delivered within 3-5 days, which as an international seller may work in your favour.
Do keep in mind, however, that by using an international fulfilment service such as Pan-European FBA, you can offer next-day delivery to Spanish customers.
Local language customer service
There is a common expectation amongst Spanish consumers, for customer service to be provided in their local language. In fact, when selling on some Spanish marketplaces, this will be a requirement.
In reality, it’s not always possible to hire a dedicated customer support representative who can speak Spanish (and whatever other countries you sell into). Fortunately, with the help of a customer support helpdesk that integrates with online marketplaces, such as xSellco Fusion, you can automatically translate incoming and outgoing messages, into the language of both the seller and customer.
Provide detailed product information
We’ve already touched on the fact that Spanish consumers are more likely to purchase when they are confident in the security and trustworthiness of your brand, and one way to increase their confidence is by providing thorough and detailed product information.
If you are selling through a website, you should also think about enabling customer feedback. On most marketplaces, this will automatically be enabled and you should strive to improve your overall customer rating.
The most popular online marketplaces in Spain
While Spain does indeed operate several of its own online marketplaces, many of them do appear to be more focused on Spanish merchants, as opposed to international retailers.
That said, there are still some that do actively support cross-border trade and that are worth considering as part of your Spanish export strategy. It’s also worth keeping in mind that almost 57% of Spanish online transactions are in fact being made through international eCommerce sites, with several of these online marketplaces being amongst the most popular sites in Spain.
When expanding across multiple marketplaces, however, it can be a good idea to explore your opportunities with inventory management software. This enables your to sell across hundreds of different global sites all from one centralised location.
On top of this, a multi-channel inventory management system can further support global expansion by bringing more efficiency into your business, streamlining your processes and enabling you to reroute your international orders to your most proximate warehouse, plus much more.
Below, we have compiled a list of online marketplaces that you should be considering in order to reach the Spanish market and take your products across the globe.
Privalia is a great site to consider selling on if you are a fashion retailer looking to reach the Spanish market. In fact, the company has the largest market share not only in Spain, but also in Germany, Italy, Brazil and Mexico, with around 24 million registered members.
It is worth keeping in mind, however, that the site is more of a deals site than a traditional marketplace, as it focuses on offering flash sales, with up to 70% off retail prices. It also runs 3-5 day long brand campaigns, where registered members are invited to access the sales, usually via email. Ultimately, it could be a great option for your slow-moving product lines.
In order to sell through the site, retailers are expected to offer a minimum of 40% discount on products. In addition to this, you will be required to provide a digital catalogue in Spanish and Italian and have a local address for returns.
Carrefour is the first marketplace to provide sellers with the opportunity to sell through their multiple channels, i.e. online and in-store. With a specific focus on the company’s online presence, they offer a wide range of products, from fashion to consumer electronics, right through to sports & leisure equipment.
They also offer a competitive pricing model, with sellers incurring no registration fee or monthly fees. In addition to this, you will also have the ability to terminate the contract at any time and can also receive up to a 2% bonus if you reach a certain turnover level. You will also be assigned an account manager to advise you on the sales process.
More information about selling on Carrefour.es can be accessed here.
While Spartoo isn’t a Spanish marketplace, it is one of the most popular eCommerce sites in Spain for shoes and clothing. For this reason, it is one you should be considering if you’re looking to reach not only Spanish customers, but also customers across other European markets.
What’s also great about Spartoo is that it offers customer service in 12 different languages and operates a marketplace drop-ship model, enabling them to easily sell into all 30 European countries where it has a presence.
To sell on the marketplace, there is a standard £35 monthly fee, and you can expect to pay between 15% and 20% commission on each sale.
Despite being a German company, Zalando is another marketplace that is incredibly popular amongst Spanish consumers. Like Spartoo, Zalando is the ideal fit for sellers of fashion apparel who are also looking to reach a broader European market.
The brand is incredibly well known across most of Europe and as such, any potential sellers will be subject to selection criteria in order to sell on the marketplace. Once you have been deemed eligible, you will benefit from their extensive customer base and competitive fees.
Thanks to Amazon’s easy-to-use platform, you can easily list your products on the Spanish marketplace, using your UK account.
Specifically, Amazon offer a range of international selling programmes, making the process of cross-border trade as easy and risk-free as possible. In fact, if you are already selling on the domestic marketplace, extending your listings into Spain might be a great way to test the market.
While programmes such as Pan-European FBA require you to list in all five European marketplaces – UK, ES, DE, IT and FR – as opposed to just Spain, it’s worth keeping in mind that these sites, combined, attract 100 million visitors every month.
Similar to Amazon, eBay also offer a range of cross-border trade programmes, giving sellers the opportunity to sell to Spanish customers.
While you can read more about eBay’s international programmes and opportunities here, they do offer both basic and advanced international selling options that are worth considering, as well as their popular Global Shipping Programme (GSP).
In short, as an eBay seller you will have the option to make your domestic listings available to Spanish customers who are on the UK site, list directly onto eBay.es using local language listings, or alternatively opt to use eBay GSP, which will handle the fulfilment and all associated documentation and charges.