Swiss E-Commerce Market 2018: What You Should Know

Swiss E-Commerce Market 2018: What You Should Know

Der soeben von NetComm Suisse publizierte Beitrag von Converto – «Swiss E-Commerce Market 2018: What You Should Know» – erläutert die neuesten Trends sowie die Prognosen der Experten für den E-Commerce-Sektor im kommenden Jahr. E-Commerce hat im letzten Jahr um 10% zugenommen, eine Steigerung, die sich 2018 wahrscheinlich wiederholen wird. Die Konkurrenz aus dem Ausland ist jedoch stark: cross-border Einkäufe haben 2017 um 23% zugenommen. Besonders die Fashionbranche muss sich gegen die internationale Konkurrenz behaupten. Im Marketingbereich wird der Fokus wahrscheinlich auf Sales-Promotionen gelegt werden, was promotions- und produktbasierte Werbelösungen wie Feed Based Advertising besonders attraktiv macht. Lese hier den vollständigen Artikel, der noch viele weitere spannende Trends auflistet!

Swiss E-Commerce Market 2018 What You Should Know

Hier der ganze Beitrag:


Summary: Swiss retail has stagnated in 2017 with a slight plus in the food/near-food sector, and a slight minus in the non-food sector. E-commerce, however, has increased by 10% with an even bigger increase in cross-border purchases (23%). Especially in the fashion industry, the competition from abroad is strong, with imports most frequently being made from Germany, France, and China. For 2018, experts expect a further growth of the e-commerce sector. Export through e-commerce remains an unexplored area that shows a lot of potential. In terms of marketing, an increase in sales promotions is expected, which makes product and promotion-oriented marketing tools such as Feed Based Advertising indispensable.

Developments in Swiss Retail 2017

The general development in Swiss retail over the last two years has been one of contraction. In 2017, however, the economy stabilized and as a result, many industries already saw an upswing in the first half of the year. This led to a surge in confidence and optimism both among corporations and consumers. Furthermore, the Swiss Franc weakened compared to the Euro from April to October 2017, which further stimulated Swiss exports.

This would lead to the assumption that the retail sector performed well in 2017. However, according to Credit Suisse’s “Retail Outlook 2018” , the sector seems to be lagging behind the overall economic developments: it stagnated in 2017, with the food/near-food sector reporting a slight increase in comparison to the previous year and the non-food sector experiencing a slight minus due to generally lower prices and a loss of customers to online competition from abroad.

Developments in E-commerce 2017

Out of the entire Swiss population, 95% are regular internet users and 86% shop online, according to NetComm Suisse, which constitutes a high overall internet saturation. Roughly 90% of all internet users have purchased something online in the last year, a percentage only topped by the UK (93%) and Germany (92%) in Europe. On average, Swiss online shoppers spend almost 2’500 CHF per year online, which is a clear increase from previous years even though the number of online-shoppers has not changed. This could indicate that people feel more and more secure shopping online.

While the general retail sector stagnated in 2017, the e-commerce sector grew. According to a report by the VSV (Verband des Schweizerischen Versandhandels), e-commerce has increased by 10% in comparison to the previous year. Furthermore, cross-border purchases rose disproportionately with a 23% increase. However, the online sector constitutes only 7.6% of overall Swiss commerce, leaving considerable room for growth.

What and Where People Shop Online

The statistics provided by NetComm Suisse identify fashion and accessories as the most commonly purchased products online, followed by transportation, events (tickets), holidays and books. According to the VSV, the top products shopped online are home electronics, followed by fashion and shoes. The most popular sales channels, according to NetComm, are the online shop of a brand itself, sites of retailers who simultaneously have an online shop, and specialized websites for a specific type of product. Furthermore, digital newsletters and social networks prove very effective for customer engagement.

The two biggest e-commerce platforms in Switzerland are currently Digitec Galaxus, followed by Zalando. Especially Zalando experienced remarkable growth over the last years, their sales having multiplied by seven since 2012. Swiss customers spend above the average amount on purchases from Zalando compared to German and Austrian consumers (Credit Suisse).

Fashion and E-Commerce

While fashion is one of the most lucrative e-commerce areas, it also has the strongest competition from abroad. 40% of Swiss customers have bought fashion items on foreign e-commerce sites. The top reasons for buying on international sites are better prices, the lack of availability of a certain product on domestic platforms, and the greater selection of products on foreign sites. Swiss online shoppers most commonly buy from Germany, France, and China (NetComm). Given that the Swiss currency is still rather strong, the price argument will most likely remain relevant in 2018.

Trends for 2018

NetComm Suisse point to the unrealized potential of export through e-commerce. Switzerland has a positive reputation abroad regarding high quality products, websites’ trustworthiness, and payment and data security. While the actual number of foreign online buyers is still limited, this favourable reputation could be used to considerably expand export through e-commerce. NetComm also highlight the growing prevalence of purchases made on mobile devices: 78% of internet users already own a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) and use it for an increasing number of activities, including online shopping.

The VSV expects e-commerce to increase by another 10% in 2018, with a repeated 20% rise in purchases made on foreign sites. They emphasize logistics as the core area for further development: because the pricing pressure will lead to a converging prices, companies have to differentiate themselves in other ways. Fast and convenient shipping will play a big role in this. Moreover, purchases made on foreign sites are expected to increase further, especially with the first wave of direct imports from China reaching Switzerland. This once again heats up the price competition.

The general spending power in Switzerland, according to Credit Suisse, is estimated to remain roughly the same in 2018. An overall shift away from stationary retail to e-commerce is to be expected. In fact, many retailers did not reach their sales targets in 2017, but met or even exceeded their online sales goals. Many retailers have not yet adjusted their investments to mirror this shift towards e-commerce, since it remains a relatively small part of their overall profit. A conscious development and strengthening of the online sector therefore remains possible.

How to Succeed in E-Commerce

According to Credit Suisse, consumer marketing spending will increase in 2018 with an emphasis placed on sales promotion. These promotions usually aim at providing additional incentives to complete a purchase or to increase sales in the short term. Furthermore, Credit Suisse highlight the increasing number of communication channels available to retailers and, as previously mentioned, the underestimated potential of online sales. The trend thus seems to point towards a promotion-oriented consumer marketing that makes use of new mediums such as online channels, and takes into account the growing e-commerce sector.

Feed Based Advertising by Converto provides retailers or e-commerce platforms with the ideal tool to implement such promotion-oriented online marketing campaigns. It is based on a retailer or e-shop product feed, which contains information about the attributes of each product. This information is imported into the Converto Feed Master Engine and can then be easily accessed to create a dynamic advertisement for any product or promotion-based marketing campaign. The products can be exchanged by a simple mouse click according to the promotion that is currently ongoing, and information like special prices can easily be adapted.

Converto customers such as Sarenza managed to not only strengthen their brand presence through reaching their ideal audience, but also achieved the conversions they were looking for. In the case of Sarenza (as is shown in Converto’s published case study), the online shop managed to attract 90% of their new customers through a cooperation with Converto.

Feed Based Advertising campaigns are displayed in Converto’s own publisher network that contains more than 400 high quality Swiss websites. Combined with Converto’s sophisticated targeting system, Feed Based Advertising is a powerful tool for any promotion-based campaign and thus the ideal marketing option for meeting the challenges of 2018.


Credit Suisse: “Retail Outlook 2018: Der Detailhandel hinkt der Konjunktur hinterher”
NetComm Suisse: “Swiss E-commerce & Digital Consumer Behavior 2017”
Verband des Schweizerischen Versandhandels (VSV):
“Medienmitteilung 20. Februar 2018: Schweizer Online-Konsum wächst 2017 um 10%”
“Online- und Versandhandelsmarkt Schweiz 2017” Präsentation von Patrick Kessler und Thomas Hochreutener