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Spanish consumption habits [Updated 2021]

It is no secret to anyone how many challenges we are facing today and how those challenges have pushed us to change some aspects of our lives in order not to give in to the pressure of the economic situation. Of course all this brought important changes in the consumption habits of people around the world; but this time, we will focus on breaking down the most important keys to understand how Spaniards are consuming today, and how you can understand your audience if you are in this market. Will you join us?

Context before and during 2020

As we said many things have changed in a short period of time, we have had to rely on our ability to react and adapt quickly in order to capture the attention of customers and achieve our sales goals. The offline environment, our tangible plane, was already falling quite short for businesses long before the pandemic, there had been talk of the need for businesses to address a digital transformation strategy, and competition in the online environment was becoming more and more aggressive and relentless with businesses that did not yet dare to take the step towards digital.

With the arrival of the pandemic, all doubts simply vanished. It was confirmed that the online environment was the only salvation to the crisis that the world was going through, where businesses were the second most affected, only after the infected. Thus, most of the businesses we see today whose growth curve is going at a positive pace are of 2 types: hybrids between an online and offline business model, or fully online. This marks the most significant consumer behavior of our era: online consumption.

The growth of e-commerce through social networks and specific platforms for the sale of products and services in the last 2 years has been dizzying, Spanish consumers after the confinement ended up transforming their buying habits almost completely, generating that 72% of internet users in Spain use this channel as a shopping channel.

The changes brought about by Covid-19 have been precipitous in every way and have forced us to change our shopping habits. For many, technology was more of a luxury than a necessity, but this, and many other preconceived notions are now a thing of the past, as technology has become the main channel for shopping, working and studying in these difficult times.

The new consumer 2021

The Spanish consumer, before the pandemic, was demanding and impatient, and only a low percentage of these consumers used technology to purchase goods or services. Well, by mid-2020, e-commerce accounted for more than 33% of total national revenue.

E-commerce has gained popularity due to health measures for our safety and the safety of our loved ones, prevailing over going to an establishment to stay safe.

This digital boom has allowed marketers to look at some particular characteristics of customers, creating “consumer profiles”. These are divided into 5 profiles: “resistant”, “scared”, “empowered”, “expectant” and “shocked”. These characteristics emerged from the restrictive measures due to the virus, so companies will work to meet the needs of these 5 behavioral patterns.

Main characteristics of the 5 consumer profiles


This type of consumer is closely related to pricing and sales strategies and tends to negotiate with, or distance themselves from, their service providers.


They tend to balance consumption with price, safety and well-being, analyzing potential risks when making a decision about their purchases.


These customers are the ones who prefer quality brands, either for leisure or enjoyment. They are usually professionals who have not experienced any change in their quality of life.


This type of consumer is more focused on the present, avoiding thinking about an uncertain future.


These clients are truly receptive to anything that allows them to move forward, accept the current situation and build momentum.

+ Cocooner

This is another term in vogue today. It refers to sedentary people who prefer to spend their time at home and spend their money online; going out the minimum necessary. In this way, Spaniards are accepting confinement and embracing the “cocooner” lifestyle.

Consumer profile for the rest of the year in Spain

There will be a tendency to be meticulous when it comes to shopping, taking more precautions and responsibility, given that the Internet offers a wide range of products and services, with different prices and quality. Therefore, when making a decision on what to buy, consumers want to be certain that they are not wasting money on unnecessary things, acquiring only products or services that provide them with some emotion or sensation; always preferring basic and necessary products, such as food, furniture, real estate, comfort and relaxation, home cleaning and do-it-yourself.

This year consumers have become more aware of their habits and lifestyle, which means they are more conscious of their purchases, taking into account the sustainability of their new lifestyle.

Technology and digital media are at the center of it all, thanks to the Covid-19 situation. Social media has played a huge role in sales, helping business sustainability and increasing sales.

Benefits of confinement

In addition to awareness, the strength of confinement is the use of the internet and digital technologies that increase supply and demand generating change and driving businesses.

Customer Service: Omnichannel or Multichannel?

The difference between the Omnichannel and Multichannel models is that although both provide the customer with various customer service channels, such as websites, physical locations, social networks, among many others, in the Multichannel model each channel operates independently and even competes with each other. Omnichannel, on the other hand, focuses on the user experience, so all channels are integrated and complement each other. Learn more about customer service strategies here.

Taking into account our personal safety and that of our family, we must choose and implement new purchasing methods and the most viable is the omnichannel or online shopping. When it comes to shopping 93% of Spaniards prefer this method, given that the service feels more personalized, comfortable and accessible.

It is very important to know that 8 out of 10 consumers buy based on prices and sales and this fact is supported by 70% of Spanish consumers.

Consumer trends for 2021


Advances in technology and the use of the Internet have made the development of e-commerce possible, making it almost indispensable during these periods of lock-in.

As the technology will only get stronger, considerable growth and development is expected for the rest of 2021 and the years to come, social media and e-commerce platforms are at the center of the buying and selling force, and it is possible that these media will be seen as the main channels for acquiring goods and services in the long term.

So much so that, according to Statista figures, in the third quarter of 2020, the amount of Euros moved through online commerce was 12.8 billion Euros, where 42% of consumers averaged spending between 25 to 50 Euros, followed by 30% of consumers spending between 51 to 100 Euros, until we find that only 1% spent more than 500 Euros.


To achieve the goals of your online store you must maintain the quality and service you normally offer, you must also prioritize the needs of potential customers, which usually focus on: quality, service, accountability, affordability and delivery service. You should focus on the use of easy keywords to connect with the customer.

Digital platforms (websites, blogs, RRSS, digital marketing, SEO and SEM)

Digital platforms are increasingly present in our daily lives. We use them for almost everything, from accessing information, searching for a product, entertainment to even maintaining direct contact with some companies. All this digital pressure has made many companies open up to a digital version of themselves and launch a website, a blog, a social media account, sell on e-commerce platforms, etc., in order to meet customer demands.

A good example of the effect of this transformation is when you enter a clothing store and show interest in their products, they offer you a card with all the users of the store in different media or social platforms so that you receive notifications and are up to date with their products and stock.

And is that the figures speak for themselves, since a study conducted in June last year, states that the 5 social networks most used by respondents to make online purchases were the following:

  • Whatsapp (91%)

  • Facebook (88%)

  • Youtube (68%)

  • Instagram (66%)

  • Twitter (54%)

Now that the competition has changed scenario, strategies must follow suit, and with the intention of getting the best possible place companies will surely invest a lot of capital in digital marketing and SEM and a lot of time in achieving a good SEO position.

Changes in online payments

The same force that has brought us into the era of digital shopping has driven the development of different payment methods. This aspect must be taken into account because the more payment methods offered to customers, the greater the possibility of securing sales.

A study conducted by Statista in October 2020, reflects that the virtual payment method most used by respondents, was Paypal, followed by debit card, which was used by approximately 35% of respondents.

Among the most popular payment methods on the platforms we can find: BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), PayPal, Amazon Pay, Zelle and credit/debit cards.

Increased digital talent

The evolution in the digital area is incessant and so are the changes in the profiles that companies are looking for. Keeping our knowledge and skills up to date is a must when looking for a job nowadays. It goes without saying that people with digital skills, talent, creativity and knowledge of social networks will have more possibilities than those who are not very familiar with digital ways. All these characteristics and skills will be taken into account and valued in the company to create new and innovative ideas.

Digitization of the company

To keep up with new technological trends, companies must have tools that facilitate management, such as: ERP System (Enterprise Resource Planning System) or CRM System (Customer Relationship Management System); these tools will allow you to manage your business anytime, anywhere.

With all these technological updates, companies have the option to offer personalized attention to their customers. This aspect is the most competitive in the market; taking into account customer demands and new changes, if you are able to offer quality personalized attention you are totally ahead.


Although the consumption habits of Spaniards have changed compared to previous years, we cannot forget that these changes were not only for this country, but for the whole world, due to the situation we are currently living. The most radical change in these habits was the transfer of general consumption to the virtual world, where almost everything you had to buy in physical stores, you can buy from the comfort of your home without having to leave it.

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