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Half of Spaniards look online before buying in-store

One in two Spaniards first look online for products before buying them in a physical store. And for 47% of all Spaniards the price is the most important factor for buying things online, as they think products are cheaper online than in-store.

Internet is increasingly becoming the gateway for consumption in Spain, as 52% of its inhabitants search for products online before going to the store and buying them. This is clear from the study ‘Hábitos del e-commerce’ (habits of ecommerce), compiled by Nielsen. And when the so called millennials reach maturity their consumer purchase intention will even be higher, the information and measurement company predicts.

Prices are lower online than in store
The upward trend in Spain is mainly thanks to the wide access of internet in the last two years, which has increased by 15 percentage points to 84%. The study also highlights how, because of the economic crisis, consumers have developed a certain “hypersensitivity to price”. In fact, 47% of respondents considered ordering online because prices are more affordable than in store.

woman using her smartphone to shop online

Spain is different from the rest of Europe in terms of buying online. While in Europe on average 34% of the users is committed to shopping online for fashion, footwear and other accessories, in Spain hotel reservations (37%) and airline tickets (35%) are among the most popular product categories online. With regards to food and beverage, the Spaniards and Europeans don’t differ that much, as 12% of Spaniards and 14% of Europeans are willing to buy food products online. For alcoholic drinks these percentages (8% and 9%) are lower, but still close together.

No problem buying water or milk online
Gustavo Nunez, CEO of Nielsen Iberia, stresses the fact that the Spanish don’t have problems with buying food and drinks online when it comes to packaged goods as water or milk. So no fruit, vegetables or chicken meat ordered online. “We like to see it, know how they are cut, how they prepared it and we want to be sure it’s fresh.”

Shopping online via smartphone popular in Spain
The Nielsen study also shows that Spain is at the forefront of Europe in terms of buying online using their smartphones, as it’s the first country among the big five (also including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy) where 38% of respondents have the intention to purchase online through mobile devices. That’s more than the European average of 33%, but also more than in technologically advanced countries such as Germany (31%), France (29%) and the UK (25%). Only Finland (43%), Romania (43%) and Croatia (41%) outnumber Spain in intended use of the mobile phone. “The reason for this important difference is to be found in the fact that the Spanish are ‘early adopters’, we like technology and we quickly incorporate new products into our lives”, said Gustavo Nunez.