E-commerce could increase by 30% in Switzerland in 2020

Last year, the Swiss made online purchases worth a total of around 10 billion francs, an 8% increase in online commerce volume. According to the e-commerce study by the University of Applied Sciences of Northwest Switzerland (FHNW), internet purchases are expected to grow significantly in 2020. Study leaders estimate that between 22 and 30 percent of additional products will be purchased on the internet. compared to this year.

“The Swiss discovered online commerce and this trend will continue in the long term,” explains a member of the Swiss Distance Selling Association (ASVAD) in the study. The confinement linked to the coronavirus crisis is the cause: “the entire distribution system was, so to speak, subjected to massive A/B testing. Instead of vendors thinking about how best to reach customers to convince them to shop online, customers came alone and in large numbers for two months,” the study continues.

Interconnected online and offline commerce

The study’s creators also found that the distinction between online and offline activities is increasingly fading. In addition to microenterprises, more retailers are using the internet, mobile apps, online marketplaces or customer access service providers (search engines, social networks, blogs, etc.). The principle also works in reverse. According to the study, online and offline business models have merged: online retailers are also increasingly using pop-up stores, their own physical stores or pick-up points.

The rise in mobile commerce and social media sales activity is testament to how an interconnected model works. “Platforms are adding order buttons and new payment methods, retailers are using and for example offering full product catalogs on Whatsapp,” says the study, which indicates that this would primarily attract suppliers whose users are interested. for simplicity and service.

No profitable trade without traffic

Competition in the retail industry has exploded over the past 20 years. Customer access is therefore a decisive success factor. “Very few online stores are able to drive traffic to their site on their own to develop a profitable business,” the study stresses. Retailers have no choice but to rely on customer access service providers, ie GAFAs for the most part.

Although Google is the leader in Switzerland in terms of online sales, skepticism towards the online giant has grown. However, there is no market that dominates the Swiss market. In general, respondents believe that online marketplaces increase their suppliers’ chances of success. Among the advantages of using such a solution, the study cites the increase in sales, increased visibility and the conquest of new customers. However, there is also some competition between marketplaces and their providers as the former also act as merchants.

The study also offers a glimpse into the years ahead: e-commerce forecasts are not just optimistic for 2020. In fact, two-thirds of companies surveyed expect their online sales to increase by 50% or more by 2050. None of the study participants estimated that e-commerce sales will decline or stagnate.

about the study

The E-Commerce Report Switzerland 2020 study, carried out since 2009 by the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, is the result of a survey of 35 e-commerce and multi-channel providers with significant market impact. These are retailers that offer consumer goods or services and whose e-commerce volume exceeds SFr6 billion.

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