Guide to Affiliate Marketing in Spain
*This blog post was updated in November 2021
Our team of local and global experts showcase what there is to know about key regions across EMEA. In this blog post, we shine the light on Spain.
Table of contents
- Brief history of the Spanish affiliate market
- Overview of the Spanish affiliate market
- Overview of the key affiliate marketing players
- Key differences between the Spanish and UK affiliate markets
Multiple publications speculate that affiliate marketing was created by Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon, launching the first program in 1996. However, this invention did not reach Spain until 1999, when a few affiliate networks started offering their services in the country. Despite affiliate marketing’s early entry into the Spanish market, it did not reach its development phase until 2014. The concept became very popular and numerous job opportunities were available in this sector with approximately 400 people hired to work in the industry throughout the year. According to a recent 2021 Awin report on Spain, there have been new signs of a maturing market, with taxation on digital services introduced.
Spain was hit by the financial crisis in 2007, which affected its economy throughout the following years until present – 27% of the population were unemployed in 2013 as many companies were forced to close due to bankruptcy. Fast-forward to 2020 and digital ad-spend in Spain has now reached $2.2 billion, with the digital industry continuing to experience a positive recovery in recent years. More importantly, digital advertising has taken over some of the traditional forms of advertising, including newspapers and magazines, representing the online advertising shift in Spain.
Due to the nature of the Spanish market, which can be linked to its culture, shoppers still place value on “word-of-mouth” recommendations, making bloggers, influencers and niche content sites the key players in its landscape. In addition, cashback and coupon affiliates represent a significant segment of the market. Email marketing and lead generation are also key partners in the market.
Global affiliate and European affiliate networks are active in Spain, including Awin, CJ Affiliate, Tradedoubler, Webgains and Tradetracker. Moreover, two of the biggest affiliate networks in France have a strong presence in Spain: TimeOne Performance and Netaffiliation.
Affiliate marketing maturity
Figures prove that the UK market is more developed when it comes to the number of affiliates and advertisers working in digital advertising versus the Spanish market. This brings up a few differences:
- Luxury Spanish brands are reluctant to launch affiliate programs, since they worry about their brand image, whereas in the UK most high-end brands have an affiliate program.
- Brands in Spain tend to operate with more than one affiliate network because not all affiliates are active across networks. In the UK, however, many programs are run exclusively by one affiliate network or SaaS platform.
- Affiliates in Spain are less industry-savvy; therefore, they tend to join a smaller number of networks versus the UK where affiliates tend to join all major platforms.
Spain benefits from a high number of active internet users using mobile devices, coming in at 93.6% of the population. The global pandemic in 2020 saw purchases on smartphones soar by 10%, with the country gaining over 800,000 new shoppers through e-commerce during the first lockdown. Interestingly, most of the transactions completed online in Spain are purchases to global marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Alibaba, versus local brands, indicating unique consumer preferences and tastes.
Growth of affiliate marketing in Spain
2020 was a historic year for e-commerce in Spain. Following a 20% YoY boost in spending, it was recognized as the third most significant rise globally, surpassing other European countries. Growth peaked during the first COVID-19 lockdown with reports of a surge in new advertisers using marketplaces to quickly pivot and provide online offerings. According to Awin, the online acceleration also drove new affiliate sign-ups to hit record highs of 72%. Popular affiliates across 2020 included blogs and editorial, CSS and mass media partners, the latter of which saw a 267% spike in commission.
Affiliate marketing outlook in Spain
In the current business landscape, Spain is on track to evolve further in the e-commerce space. Record numbers of new shoppers, a 10% increase in purchases using smartphones, rising average order values, and new financing options all indicate future growth. With the new initiatives such as telecommunications comparison portals and AI-driven product recommendations, Spain looks set to flourish in a post-COVID-19 world.
If you would like to find out about launching or growing your global affiliate program. Get in touch with our team of affiliate marketing experts today.