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E-commerce is booming in Switzerland

Half of online shops in Switzerland reported that orders increased by more than 20 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the results of a survey of online retailers conducted by ZHAW researchers in 2020. This is the third consecutive year that this survey has been carried out.

E-commerce in Switzerland experienced significant growth during the COVID-19 crisis. Around half of online shops recorded a sharp increase of 20 per cent in the number of orders in at least one of their product ranges compared to the previous year. Some online shops experienced an increase in turnover of up to 1,500 per cent. Both small and large online shops in the B2C and B2B sector benefited from this trend. These are the results reported in the ZHAW School of Management and Law’s Swiss Online Retailer Survey 2020, which is based on a representative survey of 330 Swiss online shops conducted in the summer of 2020.

Changes in lifestyle

“The Swiss increasingly turned to online shopping because of temporary closures or to avoid visiting physical stores,” says Darius Zumstein, author of the study. Working from home and a change in how people organize their leisure time dramatically increased online demand for goods such as DIY and gardening tools, as well as food, sporting goods and toys. Online orders of products in the electronics, computer and multimedia sectors also increased sharply. The most commonly used payment methods in online shops were invoice and credit card with a share of 49 per cent and 32 per cent of transactions, respectively. TWINT, the mobile payment solution in Switzerland, has also become significantly more widespread: it is now offered by every second online shop.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents also expect a moderate to strong increase in orders in the longer term and plan to increase investments in digital business accordingly. This is the third such study conducted by the Institute of Marketing Management. Previous surveys were conducted in 2018 and 2019.