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Spain Ranks Fourth in Europe for Online Sales

Showrooming: Key retail strategy concepts for getting the most out of coexisting online and offline channels

What is the Role of Physical Stores during the E-commerce Boom?

The UK leads Europe in e-commerce sales according to the most recent European e-commerce study by eMarketer. While Germany continues to grow steadily, Spain isn’t too far behind: they rank fourth in Europe for e-commerce sales. Based on B2C sales analysis estimations, Spain moved €39,243 million in 2019, which is 29% more than the previous year according to CNMC data. This makes Spain the fourth largest e-commerce market in Europe behind the UK, Germany and France, and just ahead of the Netherlands.

If 71% of Spanish Internet users claim to make online purchases (according to the 2018 Annual E-commerce Study by IAB Spain), what is the future of physical stores?

“Physical stores provide a multisensory experience that e-commerce can’t offer, no matter how good the online experience is. Looking at the way things are going, it seems like consumers will continue to favor physical stores since they let customers feel close to the products and the brand, especially if stores have a digital strategy to support them,” ensures Jaume Portell, CEO of Beabloo, a Spanish company specializing in digital consulting and retail tech.

Showrooming: experience offline, buy online

One phenomenon of having two channels to buy the same product is called showrooming, a behavior that is becoming more and more common. Showrooming is when a customer visits a brick-and-mortar store to check out a product in person, then goes online to buy it after comparing prices.

According to data from on the top products for showrooming, 33% of men prefer visiting stores for products related to technology, and 22% prefer to check out athletic and video game products in stores.

On the other hand, 27% of women exhibit showrooming behavior for fashion products, and 12% for cosmetics and beauty products.

The study concluded that 75% of Internet users practice showrooming in physical stores.  “All of this data shows that when creating a strategy, the most successful brands are the ones that can integrate their online and offline channels by creating mobility and feedback between the two. This would make the online and offline worlds complement each other and work together,” affirms Portell.

Beabloo, online and offline analytics leader

In Spain, Jaume Portell, CEO of Beabloo and retail tech expert, and Enric Quintero, General Manager of Beabloo and online analytics expert, have joined forces under the Beabloo name to provide tech and consulting services to companies that want to improve the customer experience in their stores, and that want their online and offline channels to complement each other.

Guiomar Fernandez