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Despite a contracting housing market and a banking crisis, ecommerce in Spain is booming. eMarketer predicts that ecommerce will increase from $15.64 billion in 2011 to $18.57 billion in 2012, a growth of 18.8%. Robust online sales will continue to gather momentum through the forecast period, and total sales will exceed $30 billion by 2016.
Spain’s ecommerce sector is immature compared to the UK, Germany and France: Online buyer penetration among internet users, estimated at 49.6% in 2012, is second to last among the EU-5. Ecommerce is expected to develop faster as payment and delivery methods and basic infrastructure improve.
As of Q3 2011, travel and related services were the number one category in ecommerce as a share of sales, at 36%, according to the Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (CMT). Sales of apparel (3.2%) and consumer electronics (2.2%) accounted for a much smaller share of ecommerce.
Nonetheless, consumers in Spain are swayed by familiar brands, which translates into their digital habits as well. Based on the strength of its global brand and reputation for quality, Amazon has managed to establish itself in the country as the number one retail website ranked by unique visitors, according to June data from comScore.
The local department store chain El Cortes Ingles, whose green logo is a common sight in urban Spain, came in second with a nearly 16% reach, followed by French price comparison websites LeGuide.com at 12.9%. Apple.com and French luxury apparel and accessory retailer Groupe PPR rounded out the top five retail sites.
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