Catalonia's e-commerce turnover increased by 1.5% in 2019. This figure results from the 827 companies currently working on e-commerce in Catalonia. Showing a combined turnover of €3,773M, they employ more than 18,000 workers.
These companies range from marketplaces (41%) to brands native to an online digital sales environment (32%), as well as companies providing third-party e-commerce solutions (11%), technology developers (9%), and logistics (4%). Most Catalan e-commerce companies are young, with 61% still in the startup phase.
In terms of incoming investment, Catalonia is an internationally leading destination for e-commerce FDI, is the 3rd region of Western Europe in the number of projects, the 2nd in terms of job creation, and the 2nd in capital investment in the e-commerce industry. Major e-commerce players such as Amazon, Veepee, Adevinta, Westwing, Lidl, Printful, ManoMano, MyTheresa, and AliExpress have set up operations here.
E-commerce transactions hit 48M in 2019, up 41% since 2015
Between 2015 and 2019, there were 48 million e-commerce transactions in Catalonia, an increase of 41%, proving the growing activity in the sector, with Catalans spending most on leisure (entertainment, culture, technology, communication) and food & drinks, according to 2020 figures, followed by travel, accommodation, and fashion.
Behind all this activity, we can also see that Catalonia has a dynamic trade fair and congress sector related to e-commerce, with significant events celebrated here, such as the yearly Mobile World Congress and 4YFN, as well as the E-show Barcelona, E-Delivery Barcelona, the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress and the Barcelona New Economy Week.
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Last mile logistics in Catalonia
It is also worth mentioning that growth in e-commerce in 2020 accelerated the development of sustainable last-mile delivery in Catalonia. Specifically in its capital Barcelona, to reduce traffic, noise, and pollution. Here, the City Council promoted two distribution micro hubs that distribute via bicycles or clean vehicles, and they plan to expand to one micro hub per city district.
Distribution is further being transformed with electric bikes and gas-run vans delivering more efficiently and sustainably in areas of difficult access or with time restrictions, such as the Old Town district. Private initiatives are also rising, with new operators arriving on the market.