Spain

Jenny Pons

Client Services Director, Awin Spain

This last year taught us the importance of being agile and receptive to change. It’s safe to say 2020 was a steep learning curve for everyone involved in both ecommerce and affiliate marketing in Spain. After seeing a huge rise in online shopping volumes, retailers had to move quickly to ease the strain across their fulfilment centers. Thankfully, having access to high-level data, experts and insights from Awin allowed us to continue to build key partnerships and provide incremental value to our retailers, ensuring we took positives from the situation.

Jared Owen
Chief Revenue Officer, Redbrain

46.8m

Population

Euro (€)

Currency

91%

Internet penetration rate

11%

Ecommerce penetration rate
(% of total retail)

75%

Mobile penetration rate

$5.6b

Total ad spend (USD)

$2.2b

Digital ad spend (USD)

$88m

Affiliate ad spend estimate (USD)

14%

Projected ad spend growth 2021

758
Advertisers
6,627
Publishers
Share of sales by device
Share of sales by publisher type
27%
Loyalty & Cashback
22%
Coupon Code
15%
Content
11%
Social
7%
Search
6%
Comparison
5%
Sub Networks
3%
Email
2%
Display
2%
Tech Partners

Until 2020, HIVITAL had not done any type of advertising. We decided to try affiliate marketing because our business aligns with its strengths, and we’ve been elated with the results.

Affiliate marketing helped us accelerate the growth process, with more potential clients getting to know us, trying our products and eventually becoming HIVITAL clients. It goes without saying that the pandemic and confinement caused many people to buy online, making it all the more important to have a channel to reach these new potential customers. Considering the growth in sales and what it’s done for our business, affiliate marketing should represent a vital part of our strategy in 2021.

Ferran Forcada
Founder & CEO, HIVITAL

Examining Spain

Amid the adaptations, regulations and restrictions that led to higher risks over the security of retailers and their margins, Spain’s affiliate industry managed to turn several corners in a period that will forever remain difficult to appreciate.

Last year went down in history as Spain’s ‘year of ecommerce’ following a 20% growth in spend against 2019. It was the third biggest rise in the world and the leader in Europe. These rates peaked during a national lockdown in March and on special events like the Cyber Week, where Awin data shows staggering increases in revenue (+66%), sales (+56%) and clicks (+32%). 

Online was consistently aided by regional measures in well-connected, highly-populated areas like Madrid, where the government desperately tried to tackle the rate of infection.

Last year went down in history as Spain’s growth in ecommerce spend against 2019 was the third biggest rise in the world and the leader in Europe.

The immediate response from retailers was to shift spend en masse from traditional channels to digital, creating a more seamless journey to their ecommerce sites. In 2020, online advertising in Spain grew by 9% year-on-year to account for 34% of all spend, exceeding TV investments by a slim but important margin.

Awin reported a surge in new advertisers using marketplaces to rapidly create online shops due to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. During this time, we were glad to offer small businesses a foothold on the ecommerce ladder through Awin Access, which made it easy for startups and micro-SMEs to launch their first programs and get selling immediately. 

The online explosion had new publisher sign ups hitting record growth of 72% after strong showings from Blogs & Editorial, CSS and Mass Media partners – the latter seeing a 267% rise in commission during 2020.

Awin reported a surge in new advertisers using marketplaces to rapidly create online shops due to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores.

It would have been easy to attribute the success of content-based sources to improved education around their value; however, this contradicts the catalytic effect of several developments, including the adoption of new media formats (e.g. podcasts), rich personalization, and trials of user-generated content. 

Signs of a maturing market have tuned Spain into a different frequency with regards to the challenges impacting advertisers and affiliates. There’s the taxation on digital services, which came to a head in 2020 after the reliance on virtual events led to confusion over how to apply different rates to an international audience.

Influencer regulation is another big talking point, and the next step will be to improve the transparency of these relationships to ensure that customers can differentiate between paid-for and organic content.  

Ecommerce shrunk to 15% of retail consumption in June following the de-escalation of Spain’s lockdown rules that month.

The other challenge will be to maintain online spend without relying on the closure of stores. Ecommerce shrunk to 15% of retail consumption in June following the de-escalation of Spain’s lockdown rules that month, dipping 3% below 2019 levels. Next year could bring stunted growth as the nation recovers from one of the sharpest economic contractions in Europe. COVID-19 left Spain’s unemployment at 16% in November – second in Europe to Greece at 17%, where heavy losses of tourism have also made a dent in the wider economy. 

In this age of extreme unpredictability, Spain could equally leverage a springboard effect after a year of great experimentation. Ecommerce gained 800,000 new shoppers over the first lockdown thanks to strong rates of purchasing from older demographics. Improvements were seen across purchases on smartphones (+10%) and average order values (+40%), while the proliferation of new financing options indicates a strong resonance with customers. 

Affiliate could even prove an outlier in the context of ad spend from brands putting faith into low-risk, high-ROI strategies. Combined with the expected uptake for new initiatives around telco comparison portals and AI-driven product recommendations, Spain will hope to flourish in a post‑coronavirus world.

Last year went down in history as Spain’s growth in ecommerce spend against 2019 was the third biggest rise in the world and the leader in Europe.

The immediate response from retailers was to shift spend en masse from traditional channels to digital, creating a more seamless journey to their ecommerce sites. In 2020, online advertising in Spain grew by 9% year-on-year to account for 34% of all spend, exceeding TV investments by a slim but important margin.

Awin reported a surge in new advertisers using marketplaces to rapidly create online shops due to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. During this time, we were glad to offer small businesses a foothold on the ecommerce ladder through Awin Access, which made it easy for startups and micro-SMEs to launch their first programs and get selling immediately. 

The online explosion had new publisher sign ups hitting record growth of 72% after strong showings from Blogs & Editorial, CSS and Mass Media partners – the latter seeing a 267% rise in commission during 2020.

Awin reported a surge in new advertisers using marketplaces to rapidly create online shops due to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores.

It would have been easy to attribute the success of content-based sources to improved education around their value; however, this contradicts the catalytic effect of several developments, including the adoption of new media formats (e.g. podcasts), rich personalization, and trials of user-generated content. 

Signs of a maturing market have tuned Spain into a different frequency with regards to the challenges impacting advertisers and affiliates. There’s the taxation on digital services, which came to a head in 2020 after the reliance on virtual events led to confusion over how to apply different rates to an international audience.

Influencer regulation is another big talking point, and the next step will be to improve the transparency of these relationships to ensure that customers can differentiate between paid-for and organic content.  

Ecommerce shrunk to 15% of retail consumption in June following the de-escalation of Spain’s lockdown rules that month.

The other challenge will be to maintain online spend without relying on the closure of stores. Ecommerce shrunk to 15% of retail consumption in June following the de-escalation of Spain’s lockdown rules that month, dipping 3% below 2019 levels. Next year could bring stunted growth as the nation recovers from one of the sharpest economic contractions in Europe. COVID-19 left Spain’s unemployment at 16% in November – second in Europe to Greece at 17%, where heavy losses of tourism have also made a dent in the wider economy. 

In this age of extreme unpredictability, Spain could equally leverage a springboard effect after a year of great experimentation. Ecommerce gained 800,000 new shoppers over the first lockdown thanks to strong rates of purchasing from older demographics. Improvements were seen across purchases on smartphones (+10%) and average order values (+40%), while the proliferation of new financing options indicates a strong resonance with customers. 

Affiliate could even prove an outlier in the context of ad spend from brands putting faith into low-risk, high-ROI strategies. Combined with the expected uptake for new initiatives around telco comparison portals and AI-driven product recommendations, Spain will hope to flourish in a post‑coronavirus world.

Awin Talks
Meet the market
Corrado Rota, Managing Director Southern Europe for Global Savings Group, speaks to Awin Talks host Rob Davinson about the Spanish affiliate industry and what distinguishes it from others around the world. Recorded in July 2020.

From the beginning of the pandemic we had to recalibrate our agenda to account for a totally new set of circumstances. The most important thing we learned during this period is that we are fast, agile and we know how to adapt to change. Awin was a very important pillar throughout the year, giving us the advice we needed to switch our approach, target the most suitable products and achieve great results

Paula Sancho
Project Manager, El Escaparate-EL País
80
affiliates across multiple verticals promoted HIVITAL for increased brand awareness
5.3%
conversion rate for increased quality traffic
8:1
ROI that delivered on original goal

Awin Access gives HIVITAL a competitive edge

80
affiliates across
multiple verticals
promoted
HIVITAL for
increased
brand awareness
5.3%
conversion rate
for increased
quality traffic
8:1
ROI that
delivered on
original goal

HIVITAL decided to launch its inaugural affiliate program in 2020 via Awin Access, a new offering that makes it easier for small businesses to enter the affiliate channel.

To ensure success, Awin began working on the essential components needed to amplify HIVITAL’s performance in affiliate and help the brand discover new opportunities to grow.

Thanks to Awin Access, HIVITAL built a competitive affiliate program with low entry barriers. Additionally, the program’s results were accelerated from a range of cutting-edge services available to all Awin Access users.

Good business decisions are based on a solid foundation of data. It was already important to measure digital marketing activity in the context of ROI, but the pandemic has emphasized this point. Affiliate marketing gives us the opportunity to attract customers and increase sales by tracking the return of each action. Thanks to Awin’s technology, its team and experience in the banking sector, we’ve been able to let data inform our decisions.  

Juan Jose Carrasco
Digital Marketing Director, Bankia
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