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What’s Next for Ecommerce in Spain?

Digital sellers look forward to rising sales and higher marketing budgets this year

Where is Spain’s retail ecommerce market headed in 2014? That’s what a December 2013 study by the Foro de Economía Digital and marketing agency Kanlli set out to learn.

Most ecommerce executives in Spain had high hopes for retail ecommerce this year: Over 90% said they expected an increase in sales, with 51% saying sales would grow by up to 10% and 40% looking for an even bigger gain. Just 3% expected sales to decline.

Such expectations are in line with eMarketer predictions for Spanish ecommerce this year. We expect 13.8% growth in business-to-consumer ecommerce sales in 2014—one of the highest rates of expansion in Western Europe and several percentage points above the regional average.

While the number of digital buyers is growing all the time, healthier sales will also come from higher spending by existing buyers. Of the practitioners polled by Foro de Economía Digital/Kanlli, 57% thought their average order value would climb by more than 10% in 2014.

Strong sales prospects are encouraging higher marketing spend. Nearly three-quarters of retail ecommerce executives in Spain planned to raise their digital marketing budget in 2014. Of those, 37% said the increase would be up to 10%, while 35% expected extra investment of more than 10%. One-quarter said they’d maintain the same budget for digital marketing in 2014, and 3% were looking to cut back.

Online merchants in Spain will increasingly cater for mobile shopping and buying. Only 53% of ecommerce representatives said that their sites were currently adapted for mobile use—but all of the remaining 47% planned to adapt their sites. A further 4% already had a mobile app up and running.

The survey also revealed two key trends shaping the market: showrooming and multichannel sales. Most executives looked for a rise in multichannel sales in 2014, with 71% saying these would increase. Of that group, 24% said they thought most sales involving multiple channels would be completed online.

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