E-commerce trend indicator 2019

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Online shopping E-commerce trend indicator 2019

Published on 05.11.2019 by Ricarda Raemy, Customer Insights Specialist, Post CH Ltd

Success in today’s e-commerce environment is heavily dependent on well-informed, strategic planning. You not only need information on your customers, but also hard facts and insight into what consumers want and expect from retail.

Every year, as part of the Swiss e-commerce trend indicator, over 10,000 Swiss residents are surveyed about their online shopping habits. The study is jointly conducted by HWZ and Swiss Post and sheds light on what makes consumers tick.

Online shopping is part of everyday life, a lot is ordered from abroad

More than three quarters of people in Switzerland make purchases online. Customers are relatively unconcerned about the country in which their francs are spent: over 70 percent of those surveyed made purchases in German online shops in the last 12 months, and 41 percent did so in China, where products are often much cheaper.

But shopping abroad also has its pitfalls. If an order from abroad is cancelled, it is usually down to a lack of a delivery option for Switzerland and hidden costs (e.g. customs and delivery costs).

Asian marketplaces are gaining ground

If you take a look at the market share of shopping platforms in Switzerland, the Swiss marketplace ricardo.ch takes pole position in terms of popularity. This is followed by Amazon and Digitec Galaxus (67 percent). Considerably further down the list are Wish (40 percent) and AliExpress, with their bargain offers.

But growth is coming from abroad, as Asian marketplaces are expanding more quickly. This trend can also be seen in the Swiss trend indicator: in 2016, 21 percent shopped on AliExpress, but by 2019 this figure had already grown by 14 percent. By contrast, fewer people are buying on eBay in a year-by-year comparison.

An extrapolation of trends from recent years leads to these findings: consumers increasingly want customer-specific offers from marketplaces, such as personalized product suggestions (from 30 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2019).

Reviews and comments, meanwhile, are becoming less significant (from 57 percent in 2016 to 47 percent in 2019), which may be the result of a loss of confidence due to fake reviews.

Swiss online shoppers cancel orders less often

Online shoppers make purchases only when they feel comfortable about doing so. Over the years, online retailers have resolved many of the main causes for cancelled purchases in online shops. Swiss online buyers have fewer and fewer reasons to cancel their online orders. User-friendliness no longer poses much of an obstacle to online purchasing (from 66 percent in 2016 to 53 percent in 2019).

Ease of payment is one of the most important factors for success in e-commerce. Convenient payment processing in the last step of online purchases is especially important (87 percent), with payment on invoice and by credit card the most popular methods. Many online purchases are cancelled because customers cannot find their preferred payment method. This goes to show that offering a mixture of payment methods is worthwhile.

Mobile payments are growing, TWINT is one step ahead

23 percent of Swiss people now prefer paying by smartphone, compared to only 6 percent in 2016. This comes at the expense of payment on invoice. Paying via TWINT is becoming more and more popular and is the preferred option for 17 percent of shoppers. This popularity is likely due to the fact that no credit card is required.

Transparency before speed

Once the item is on its way, consignment tracking (76 percent) and advance notice of delivery (74 percent) are especially important to Swiss consumers. Same-day delivery is rated as less relevant, with only 14 percent wanting this option. Among under 24-year-olds, this rises to 22 percent.

For additional, more detailed results, visit www.swisspost.ch/digital-commerce/studies.

Swiss e-commerce trend indicator 2019

The B2C study was carried out in partnership with the Institute for Digital Business at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ) and Swiss Post. The purpose of the study is to record and analyse the trends and habits of customers in the Swiss e-commerce market. A quantitative empirical study was chosen as the research approach, and the survey was conducted by means of an online questionnaire in June 2019. After cleaning the data, the sample comprised 14,326 participants.


Ricarda Raemy, Customer Insights Specialist, Post CH AG

Ricarda Raemy is a market researcher, design thinker and customer experience manager at Swiss Post.

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