iProspect Logo

Affiliate Marketing around the world Spain Portugal and Italy 3 12

With this month’s article we will take you on a trip to the South of Europe. This time, in our series “Affiliate Marketing around the world”, we will introduce you to Affiliate Marketing in Spain, Portugal and Italy. [caption id="attachment_12391" align="aligncenter" width="597"]affiliate-marketing-spain-italy-portugal Source: http://de.fotolia.com/id/36190616; Urheber: fazon; Fotolia ID: 36190616;
http://de.fotolia.com/id/34411871; Urheber: Vitas; Fotolia ID: 34411871;
http://de.fotolia.com/id/47048804; Urheber: sassenfeld; Fotolia ID: 47048804[/caption]

The article will mostly focus on the Spanish market, as it is the biggest in terms of Affiliate Marketing and online shopping, of those three countries. It can be argued that this is due to Spain’s internet penetration and a rapid market growth. To give you the best possible overview, we decided to contact Kanlli, our Yamondo Partner in Spain. They provided us with detailed data and inside information particularly about Spain, but also about Portugal.


Spain has about 47 million inhabitants. More than 31 million inhabitants are using the internet, which leads to an internet penetration of 67%. The European average of internet penetration is 63.2%, so Spain is a little bit above the average. But in comparison to other developed European countries this figure is quite low. Germany for example has an internet penetration of 83 % and this is even topped by more northern countries like Sweden with 92% or Iceland with 97%.

E-commerce and Affiliate Marketing

17% in average of the Europeans do use the internet for shopping. Again the Nordic countries have a higher rate with up to 27%. In Spain this figure is extremely low, just 8% shop online. [caption id="attachment_12396" align="aligncenter" width="537"]Graphic 1: Internet Shopping Patterns in Europe Graphic 1: Internet Shopping Patterns in Europe[/caption]
(Graphic 1 Ressource: CAP GEMINI ERNST & YOUNG (n.y.), Searching for the Global Consumer: A European Study of Changing Lifestyles and Shopping Behaviourwww.htc-twister.com, p.10)
According to a report of the EAE Business School of Barcelona, traveling services are the most popular among online shoppers. Spanish consumers are booking flights and accommodations, as well as renting cars for their holidays. The retail sector which includes clothing and sports articles of all kinds only takes third place. [caption id="attachment_12401" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Graphic 2: Percentage distribution online marketing services Spain Graphic 2: Percentage distribution online marketing services Spain[/caption]
(Graphic 2 based on (2012): Dra. Cristina Tomàs Pérez (n.y.), El Comercio Electrónico 2012, http://recursos.anuncios.com)
Further findings were made in the white paper from Oracle, an US Software Company. In its studies Orcale found that satisfaction levels for online shopping are higher in the northern European countries than in the southern countries like Spain. The main reason why Spanish people are unsatisfied with the service is that they have difficulties in reaching the organizations, like online retailers or service providers, when they have questions. Furthermore 64% of the consumers, who have been surveyed, stated that online shopping service needs to be improved. (Oracle survey, page 3) [caption id="attachment_12374" align="aligncenter" width="409"]'European Consumer Views of E-Commerce—Buying Behavior and Trends_ A Consumer Research Study - euro-commerce-consumer-survey-333316_pdf' - www_oracle_com_us Graphic 3: Shopping experiences; Oracle; euro commerce consumer survey; page 6[/caption]   (Graphic 3 Ressource: Oracle Corporation, European Consumer Views of E-Commerce: A Consumer Research Study of Buying Behavior and Trends, www.oracle.com, p.6) In the graphic below, an interesting fact is that people from Spain are the most satisfied with the online service offered by the travel and tourism industry. In comparison to other countries, Spaniards are also less satisfied with the services offered by the fashion industry than other Europeans. Perhaps the reason why the graphic below shows that Spanish people prefer travel and tourism is because the quality of the service is higher than in other industries. This higher satisfaction with the travel and tourism sector might be a reason for clients to return to the online shop. [caption id="attachment_12377" align="aligncenter" width="400"]best-online-service-sector Graphic 4: Best Online Service Sector; Oracle, euro commerce consumer survey; page 7)[/caption]   (Graphic 4 Ressource: Oracle Corporation, European Consumer Views of E-Commerce: A Consumer Research Study of Buying Behavior and Trends, www.oracle.com, p.7)   [caption id="attachment_12387" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Graph 5-Whats-liked-most-about-online-shopping Graph 5: Favorites about online shopping; Oracle, euro commerce consumer survey; page 7)[/caption]   (Graphic 5 Ressource: Oracle Corporation, European Consumer Views of E-Commerce: A Consumer Research Study of Buying Behavior and Trends, www.oracle.com, p.7) In addition to these findings Oracle also found that Spanish online shoppers are holding comparison mechanisms in high regard. Another point which is considered to be very important is the internet speed. Therefore it can be argued that, if the internet connection is bad, consumers tend to connect this directly to their online shopping experience. According to Kanlli, from the affiliates’ view the most interesting aspect is the commission a partner program offers. Furthermore, they consider transparency, in terms of reimbursement and handling the sales, as one of the most valuable goods. This is something also exceptionally important to online shoppers in general. Not only security of personal data, but also transparency in terms of special offers, like vouchers, has to be given to attract them. Therefore, people are more interested in shops with a mark of quality (e.g. like “Trusted Shop” certification). In addition, customers are more likely to use, for example, PayPal and credit cards in terms of online means of payment. Those options appear to be more transparent and safe to Spanish consumers. For advertisers this might be useful information: They should check their offered payment options as it apparently has a huge influence on customers and how they perceive a shop.

The mobile trend – Is it also relevant for southern Europe?

According to Kanlli, at this time “mobile” is not that important in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Consumers who shop and am using mobile devices are most likely to buy via tablets, but still prefer their computer when it comes to retail products. The most common articles which are bought using a Smartphone are tickets for cinemas, etc. Even though it is not that important so far, mobile traffic is reaching higher levels and will gain importance in the future.


Main affiliate networks in Spain are: 1) Affilinet 2) Zanox 3) Tradedoubler, Webgains and Belboon 4) public ideas! (Local network) Antevenio, a local Spanish network can be seen as competitor to the big networks, despite it is quite small. Antevenio specialized in CPL compensation, which is its advantage in comparison to the big networks. These factors should be kept in mind if you are interested in starting a partner program in Spain.


Portugal has about 10.6 million residents and an internet penetration of 55.2%, which is therefore below the European average.

E-commerce and Affiliate Marketing

In Portugal people are still using the internet mostly as a source of information. Like in Spain only 8% order online. The most popular products that are bought online are electronic goods. E-commerce in general is still not that popular and is only developing slowly. As the amount in online shopping is quite low, which can be seen in graphics one and six, it can be argued that this is why Affiliate Marketing is not that well established in Portugal as in other parts of Europe. [caption id="attachment_12410" align="aligncenter" width="457"]Graphic 6: Portugues online activities; Estudo TNS Graphic 6: Portugues online activities; Estudo TNS[/caption]
(Graphic 6 Ressource: Blog Dissonância Cognitiva Estudo TNS: O Perfil dos Utilizadores de Internet em Portugal, http://dissonanciacognitiva.wordpress.com)
The prognosis of Kanlli is that e-commerce in Portugal will only expand slowly in the following years. If there would be an improvement in the financial situation of the country, this might go a lot faster, though. Furthermore the advertisers need to improve their online shopping sites, as well as the overall service they offer.

Networks in Portugal

Up to now, the main Affiliate Marketing networks are zanox, netaffiliation and tradedoubler. In addition, there is public ideas! which is a smaller but local network with experience in the special characteristics of the southern European market.  


Italy has a population of about 60.9 million inhabitants, which is even more than the number of residents living in Spain and Portugal together. Despite this fact only 35 million Italians are using the web, which leads to an internet penetration of 58% - which is also below the European average. [caption id="attachment_12416" align="aligncenter" width="577"]Graphic 7: Aamount of internet users in Europe 2012; Internet World Stats Graphic 7: Aamount of internet users in Europe 2012; Internet World Stats[/caption]
(Graphic 7 Ressource: Miniwatts Marketing Group Internet World Stats, Internet Usage in Europe, www.internetworldstats.com)

E-commerce and Affiliate Marketing

Another important fact is that about 38% of all Italians between ages 16 to 74 have never used the internet before. And again the amount of users who shop online is only 7%. A quarter of the Italians think that the World Wide Web is useless. Maybe this is due to the fact that there are still a lot of internet users who do not use broadband connections. Imagine how terrible an internet experience would be if the connection is too slow. Therefore, online shopping in general is not done. As a result of these issues, as of today Affiliate Marketing has not been well established in Italy. Nevertheless, online marketing expenses have been rising constantly since 2008 according to a study of ZenithOptimedia.


Due to several sources the most important networks in Italy are: 1) Tradedoubler.it 2) zanox.it 3) clickpoint.it When having a look at the best performing Affiliate programs of zanox.it, the Italian online shoppers are mostly interested in mail orders like “La Redoute” and “Zalando”, plus, they are frequently signing mobile contracts online. Unfortunately this section is pretty short, as it was quite hard to find quality information on affiliate marketing in Italy because there are only little articles and data available. This leads to the conclusion that the market in this sector is not very well established yet. Closing this short outline on Affiliate Marketing in Italy, it can be concluded that in terms of internet affinity there still is a huge potential for the market, which is not yet seized.


To sum it up, the internet penetration of these 3 countries is low, compared to other European countries. Only Spain slightly exceeds the European average. But not only the penetration is low also the number of people who are using the internet for shopping reasons. This is ascribed to many different reasons like the bad financial situation of these countries, slow internet connections and a lack in technical prerequisites. Furthermore, some of them think that the internet is useless and others are not satisfied with the services offered. The potential for growth in these countries is quite high and the predictions for the future look promising. The technology also will improve in these countries, and the opinions regarding the internet may also shift if companies show consumers the advantages of shopping online and providing a better service. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us for further information on one of these countries, or if you are interested in starting a partner program. It would be our pleasure to assist you in every way possible with our experience and knowledge. Closing this article we want to thank Jonathan Liege, Operations Manager at our Yamondo partner Kanlli, who provided us with great support and many detailed information. The German version of this article can be read here. Author: Lena Weiland