When you think of Spain, you might think of sunny Mediterranean beaches or the Canary Islands. But there is much more to Spain than the tourist cliches! Spain is also a country with a growing e-commerce market, which this article will discuss in detail. Learn about Spain’s consumers, how they shop, and what details you should look out for when entering the Spanish e-commerce market.

Facts & Statistics

Spain has a population of 47.3 million people and a land area of 505,983 km², with an average of nearly 93 people per square kilometer. That’s significantly less than Germany, for example, which has over 230 people per square kilometer.

However, that average can be somewhat misleading: around 80% of Spain’s residents live in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Outside of the major cities, there are just a few densely populated regions along the northern, southern, and eastern coasts, including the Balearic and Canary Islands. The remaining regions are sparsely populated or even uninhabited.

It turns out that the way the population is distributed is very beneficial for e-commerce. It means that the vast majority of the population can be served easily from a few logistics centers that are strategically located near urban areas.

To the south and east, Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay lie to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal border it to the west.


The main language in Spain is Spanish, as might be expected. But there are some linguistic peculiarities that you need to take into account when you are selling to Spanish consumers. Regional sensitivities, especially in Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galician-speaking areas, play an important role in Spanish culture and need to be kept in mind. Without delving into the political complexities, tensions related to regional identities are a part of everyday life in Spain, and thoughtful localization can help you put your best foot forward.

These populations each speak their own languages (usually in addition to Spanish). As an e-commerce provider, you’ll undoubtedly gain an advantage by localizing your e-commerce shop in the corresponding languages, with Spanish as the default language and the regional languages additional options.

It’s also worth noting that there are significant differences between European Spanish and the Latin American Spanish spoken in Mexico and South America. You should never try to use a website written in European Spanish to sell to Latin American consumers, or vice versa. The chances are simply too high that you will make a poor impression on your visitors and ruin your chances of success with your customers! Instead, work with a professional translation provider who can help you choose the right language for your target region.

Logistics in Spain

Regardless of where logistics centers might be located, Spain has an extensive, modern transportation infrastructure, including a well-connected road and rail network. Most big cities are accessible by high-speed train, though Madrid remains the central hub for rail transport.

In fact, Spain offers more than 3,762 kilometers of high-speed rail network, making it a European leader in this regard. And according to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, Spain ranked number 15 in the world for logistics in 2023, right between Japan and Taiwan in the rankings list..

Internet, Advertising & Social Media Usage

Like most western European countries, Spain has a very high internet penetration rate. Over 96% of the population has internet access, and over 95% have broadband internet coverage.

In recent years, digital ads have taken the marketing landscape in Spain, with over 56% of ad spend going to digital formats. In 2022, search was the leading digital ad format, accounting for nearly 35% of total digital ad spending there. Social media followed, with 28.2% of ad spend.

Social media advertising makes sense in Spain, as over 85% of internet users are on social media. That means that there are over 41 million social media users in Spain — one of the largest social media audiences in Western Europe. According to a March 2023 survey, Twitch, Discord, and WhatsApp were accessed for more than one hour and 20 minutes daily on average, while TikTok and YouTube were accessed for around 79 and 76 minutes a day each.

E-Commerce Behavior & Sectors

E-commerce is popular in Spain: 60% of consumers spend between 20 and 100 euros online every month, and 28% spend more than 100 euros a month. In 2021, the average online shopping expenditure per internet user in Spain was around 2,247 euros. That number shows an increase of more than eight percent compared to 2020, which is particularly remarkable given the upswing in e-commerce that we saw globally in 2020.

Statista expects the online sale of electronics to generate over US$9 million in revenue in Spain in 2023, with the fashion sector following closely behind. Fashion revenue is expected to surpass electronics revenue by 2027.

In the Spanish online retail sector, it is worth noting that shoppers are becoming increasingly demanding. While price still plays a leading role in purchase decisions, consumers increasingly take other factors such as free returns, quick delivery times, and product quality into account. Up to 90% of consumers prioritize receiving their purchase at no extra cost over the convenience of fast delivery or home delivery.

Preferred Online Payment Methods

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Spain were already quite comfortable with digital payment options, but the pandemic has pushed them to embrace digital even more. Cash on delivery payments, which used to account for around 10% of online transactions in 2017, have now dropped to just a small fraction of all purchases.

A 2022 Statista survey showed that nearly 66% of Spanish e-commerce users use debit cards as a preferred payment method, while 55% use PayPal. Only around 25% paid using a credit card. These preferences are similar to many other Western European countries.

Legal Considerations

Spain is a member of the EU, which makes it easy for companies in other EU countries to do business there. The only aspect worth mentioning is the EU VAT reform, which came into effect on July 1, 2021, and simplified the movement of goods within the EU with the One-Stop-Shop principle.


Overall, Spain is an attractive market for European e-commerce providers. The technologically savvy population, growing e-commerce market and excellent logistics structure promise good returns on investment. The fact that Spain is located within the EU also lowers the barrier to entry. If approached correctly — and with the correct localization strategy — Spain could even serve as a stepping stone to the Latin American market.



autor_eurotext_100Author: Eurotext Editorial Team

We explain how internationalization works, provide tips for your translation projects and outline some of the technology and processes used. We also report on current e-commerce developments and cover a range of language-related topics.