Swiss e-commerce is worth 9.1 billion

NetComm Suisse

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Observatory NetComm Suisse and the Swiss e-commerce Consumer Behaviour Report conducted by ContactLab and presented at the Swiss e-Commerce Conference in Baden confirm the steady growth of e-commerce in Switzerland


Swiss e-commerce is worth 9.1 billion


  • The Swiss e-commerce market is up 13% from 2014
  • There are 4.7 million online shoppers in Switzerland (+12% from 2014)
  • The fashion sector is the preferred product category, followed by services like travel and tourism
  • The average online consumer spends about 2,000 CHF on shopping and 1,500 CHF on services
  • E-commerce in Switzerland is in the maturing phase and is growing faster than other countries in Europe such as Germany and Great Britain.



Baden, November 25th 2015 Swiss consumers have consolidated their digital habits. In 2015 the e-commerce market grew 13% from 2014, reaching a general value of 9.1 billion CHF. The state-of-the-art of the sector and data about this growth have been released today for the Swiss e-Commerce Conference, organised by the association NetComm Suisse. The objective of the second edition of the conference is to give an overview of the e-commerce market in the country, focusing particularly on the behaviour of Swiss consumers online.

A highly digitised country

According to the Swiss e-commerce Consumer Behaviour Report, conducted by ContactLab, which is part of Observatory NetComm Suisse, almost all of 16-65 year olds, that is 95% of the population or 5.2 million individuals, are regular users of the internet. Of these 90% purchased at least one product or service in the last 12 months, a level of penetration that places Switzerland among the leading countries in Europe for e-commerce along with Great Britain (93%) and Germany (92%). There are 4.7 million Swiss online consumers, up half a million from 2014 (+12%).

“We estimate the value of the e-commerce market today to be 9.1 billion CHF,” says Alessandro Marrarosa, President of NetComm Suisse, “up 13% from the past twelve months. This significant growth is due to the continued distribution of the online channel and the high levels of digitisation of the Swiss population.” The average annual expenditure remains more or less the same at 1,946 CHF per online shopper, “a figure much higher than that in other European countries. For example, German consumers spend an average of 1,300€, while the British spend 908€. In this context, Switzerland is proving itself to be mature, have market potential and mature connected services.”

Preferences and high value shopping in a market favoured for its efficiency

In Switzerland the general spending index for a number of specific categories, including travel/transportation, technology, food, insurance and children’s products, is significantly higher than that in other European countries. In terms of product categories, fashion products are the top preference for 52% of buyers, equalling 2.7 million individuals. However, services are still generating the majority of the value of e-commerce, primarily transportation and travel, on which the Swiss spend more than 1,500 CHF online every year.

“While last year we presented what we called the Swiss Factor, in this edition we want to talk about Made in Switzerland as a strategy for drawing companies’ attention to the potential of carrying out their activities in the e-commerce market as well as the current entry barriers, which have been lowered,” says Carlo Terreni, General Manager of NetComm Suisse and Head of Observatory NetComm Suisse.In terms of online purchases, consumers have three main favourite payment methods: in first place is Paypal (43%), followed by credit card (40%) and then cash on delivery (39%). Consumers who prefer paying by credit card spend on average more (+41%) online than other shoppers”.

“The second edition of the Swiss e-commerce Consumer Behaviour Report, conducted by ContactLab, identified unexpected two figure growth in 2015 of a market that is already mature in terms of the consumer/e-commerce relationship,” explains Stefano Lena, VP Sales & Marketing for ContactLab. “The country has a number of particularities, like a much higher shopping index, compared to the rest of Europe, for a number of product categories and a preference for e-commerce sites that also have a physical sales point, demonstrating how important it is to break down all the barriers between the digital and physical worlds. The report confirms the exponential growth of the use of the internet from mobiles in Europe, which requires companies to shift their thinking to “mobile first”. Strongly emerging this year is the need for companies to have a solid strategy for digital customer engagement to win the competition battle: from email marketing to social media, companies must concentrate their efforts to develop an integrated strategy that can generate value for the consumer.


“Retailer e-site” and “flagship brand e-site” channels are most trusted by Swiss buyers

Swiss online shoppers prefer to buy from websites of retailers that also have a physical store (41%), followed by mono brand e-commerce sites (38%). Retailers with e-commerce channels are more trusted by consumers by an average score of 7.3. Trust is slightly lower for price comparison sites and general e-commerce portals.

Flagship brand e-sites are nevertheless the most frequently used channels for finding out information to help consumers decide which product to choose. Among the different sources of information, price comparison sites, online reviews and newsletters also play an important role.

An intrinsic element of the analysis into the potential of e-commerce is click&collect, currently only used by a minority of consumers, but which has strong potential: the total prospect of click&collect is 45%, below average compared with other countries where there has been higher interest in reserving/paying online and then picking up your product in store.

The Swiss Factor and an interest in products in and outside the border

With reference to the internal market over the past year, more than half of online Swiss consumers shopped on a foreign e-commerce site at least once. This is a widespread phenomenon in Switzerland, more so than in other countries, even though buyers shopping exclusively on foreign sites are a tiny minority (2%). “There are numerous crossborder buyers, they make 35% of their online purchases abroad and spend 450 CHF more than the average buyer,” comments Carlo Terreni, General Director of NetComm Suisse and Head of Observatory NetComm Suisse. “35% of Swiss online consumers buy foreign products as internal demand forces them to look over the border out of “necessity”. The level of potential foreign consumers interested in buying from Switzerland is high. The “Swiss Factor” certainly exists; Swiss e-commerce comes highly recommended as the country is recognised for the high quality of its products, reliability, the efficiency of logistics and payment security.”

The Swiss mostly look abroad for better prices (for 72% of crossborder purchases), driven by the need to find products that are not offered on domestic sites (41%) or to have more choice or a better range of products (37%).

Digital (device = mobile) increases the opportunity for engagement with Swiss consumers in a spontaneous (earned media = social) and guided way (owned media = newsletter).

In addition to a further increase in mobile, now involving 71% of internet users (+16/17 % for both smartphones and tablets), there has been an increase of “triple players” (i.e. users connecting with smartphones, tablets and PCs), which is up 31% from the previous 12 months.

The level of interactivity of online shoppers remains mostly unchanged, though there has been an overall increase in the number of active users and a reduction in the most basic users.

In terms of the relationship with social networks, 87% of online shoppers are active on at least one social platform (83% on Facebook, 49% on YouTube, 44% on Google+, 29% on Twitter, etc.) and a good number use this channel to connect with the brand.

Of these users, almost 90% are signed up for at least one newsletter: fashion and tourism are the most popular topics for average sign up rate of 6.5 newsletters per consumer.

Newsletters are seen as a very effective tool for communicating with the brand and finding a direction through the various propositions coming from e-commerce sites (79% of users say they have bought online having followed a link contained in a newsletter) and offline (74% went in store to buy a promoted product).


NetComm Suisse

Founded in June 2012, with headquarters in Lugano, NetComm Suisse is the only Swiss association for operators of e-commerce and digital communication. Through its activity NetComm Suisse supports the growth of the sector and builds consumers trust in the online sales channel. The association is open to all companies operating in the e-commerce sector (merchants, PSP, web agencies, software houses, logistic operators, acquirers, specialised legal practices, trust and consultancy companies working in e-commerce, comparators, digital communication platforms, affiliated companies, data farms, etc.)

Contactlab s.p.a.

Contactlab is a digital engagement solution partner combining its owned enabling PaaS technology with industry focused expertise. Contactlab, founded in 1998, is led by its founder Massimo Fubini, an entrepreneur, innovator, visionary and thought leader in the digital industry.

Contactlab offers the choice, confidence and comprehensive experience needed to enable customer engagement and drive growth. The choice of extensive customer-centric solutions, multichannel and multi-language; the confidence of enterprise-grade platform with security, reliability, management and scalability; and the comprehensive experience of a team of industry professionals, with market-leading customer service and support. Contactlab enables brands to plan, build and monitor effective integrated campaigns to drive growth. Brands can use Contactlab solutions to build personalized digital contact plans, shaped around product lifecycle and people behaviours, to expand and deepen the retail experience. Our expertise in digital behavior, new customer journey paths and high focused lens on Luxury, Fashion and the Retail sectors, supports brands to build their integrated customer engagement strategy.


Contacts for the press:


NetComm Suisse Association

Tel. Zurich 0041 (0)44 5002173
Tel. Lugano 0041 (0)91 2104736
Tel. Geneva 0041 (0)22 5107103

Netcomm Suisse Press Office iPressLive

Simona Miele – Marisandra Lizzi

Mobile tel. 00 41 79 700 23 07
Tel.  Lugano  0041 (0)91 2104736
Tel.  Zurich   0041 (0)44 5002173


Viola Venturelli

Public & Analysts Relation Manager

M. +39 348 78 22 561 | T. +39 (0)2 28 31 1866




published on 11/25/2015

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