2019 Marketplace Expansion Index

The ecommerce and sharing economies are booming. Thousands of fast-growth marketplaces are emerging all around the world.
This index examines the top 36 countries for ecommerce and sharing economy platforms to expand.

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2019 Rank # | 2018 Rank #

Big Mover




Strict labor laws are preventing digital marketplaces from reaching their full potential in Spain’s very attractive market.

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Marketplace Expansion Index Rank

Up 3 Spots from 2018 Index Rank of #25


  • High unemployment rate and mass tourism means opportunity for freelancers
  • High amount of cross-border transactions
  • Fourth largest ecommerce opportunity in the EU, still mostly untapped


  • Government introducing new licensing requirements and taxes focused on web and mobile-based applications
  • Cities and regions regulate gig platforms differently
  • Higher reliance on cash as a method of payment as compared to other EU countries

Facts You Can't Forget


The Changing Face of Tourism. Tourism-focused platforms need to adjust to an increasingly conservative regulatory environment, as well as a new country-wide push for “cosmopolitan” travelers.


Digital Get Down. The number of digital payment users in Spain has been steadily growing, increasing from 23 million users in 2015 to 27 million in 2018.


Catch the (Online Spending) Wave. There are currently 24.77 million ecommerce users in Spain who spend USD $776.66 online annually. Four years from now, an expected 30.50 million Spanish online shoppers will spend approximately USD $894.07.

Ranking Highlights

For our full explanation, visit our methodology page



The fundamentals of any society and enterprise, including: payment infrastructure, ease of doing business, and Logistics Performance Index.



You’re only as good as your people. Factors in this category include: levels of English proficiency and participation in freelance employment.

Ecommerce Activity


This category assessed ecommerce opportunity size, retail ecommerce growth and ecommerce as a percentage of retail transactions.



The fate of foreign entrants, based on the volume of cross-border transactions and if a global marketplace dominates that geography.

Essential Reading

"Post-crisis Spain is an especially fraught market for internet challengers, where they have faced something close to an existential crisis."

"Tourism accounts for around 11 percent of Spain’s economic output and the number of foreign visitors rose to 82 million last year, making Spain the world’s second most visited country after France. Visitor numbers fell by 4.9 percent in July, the first fall for that key summer month since 2009."

"While Spain’s Government is more worried about plugging gaps in its tax revenues than encouraging companies to take on employees—by reducing the costs of employment, for example—Spain is unlikely to be at the forefront of adapting to the new economy."