One “click” does not work for everyone

E-commerce during COVID in Spain: one “click” does not work for everyone


Prachi Mishra; Alvaro Ortíz; Tomasa Rodrigo; Antonio Spilimbergo; Sirenia Vazquez

Publication date:

May 24, 2024

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF working papers describe the research being conducted by the authors and are published to provoke comment and encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF working papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


The share of e-commerce in total credit card spending skyrocketed during Covid in Spain. In particular, women, young people and urban consumers used e-commerce proportionally more during the pandemic, especially for services. Using a unique proprietary data set on credit card transactions, we test conjectures about consumer behavior (based on fear, hoarding, or learning) during Covid. Overall, e-commerce share returned to its pre-Covid trend as the pandemic subsided. However, some consumers with lower e-commerce usage pre-Covid tend to use more e-commerce on an ongoing basis, supporting the “learning by blocking” conjecture for these individuals.

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