E-commerce trend indicator 2020



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Online shopping E-commerce trend indicator 2020

Published on 21.10.2020 by Ricarda Raemy, Customer Insights Specialist, Post CH Ltd and Daniel Laude, research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ)

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected online retail? Is it true that the lockdown and preventive measures have led to more people shopping online rather than at physical stores?

The Swiss e-commerce trend indicator, which investigates the habits and preferences of more than 10,000 Swiss end customers online, provides some answers to these questions. The annual study is carried out by the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ) and Swiss Post.

Coronavirus pandemic resulting in more online purchases 

Compared to last year (2019), the share of Swiss customers who purchase something online at least once a week has risen to more than 13 percent. The over-55s, in particular, have shopped online more often (+25 percent) than last year. 

When it comes to the various product categories, the “online” and “offline” shopping habits of consumers have not changed to any great degree. This may be because the preferences of those surveyed in relation to online and in-store retail have not fundamentally changed. The Swiss, however, have moved online – at least temporarily during the pandemic.

Mobile payment now even more popular

The growing popularity of mobile payment solutions is another likely consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. The displacement of cash in physical shops during the extraordinary situation may have also been reflected in online retail. This has proven to be true in the case of TWINT: almost one third (29 percent) of customers prefer this mobile payment option when shopping online, while this figure was only one sixth (17 percent) the previous year.

© 2020 Post CH Ltd | Swiss e-commerce trend indicator 2020

At the same time, it should be noted that the popularity of mobile payment systems has also increased significantly over the long term.

Cutting out the middleman

When asked whether they would purchase directly from the manufacturer, or from a retailer or virtual marketplace when shopping online, there was a general consensus among Swiss consumers: around two-thirds (68 percent) of those asked would prefer to purchase directly from the manufacturer than from a retailer or marketplace (32 percent).

© 2020 Post CH Ltd | Swiss e-commerce trend indicator 2020

This may be because consumers wish to benefit from a direct relationship with the manufacturer and thus hopefully lower prices, for example. The shopping experience is often also crucial when purchasing from the manufacturer, particularly with “love brands”, where the focus is on the brand and not the product.

To sum up, the coronavirus pandemic has been a strong factor in driving customer behaviour online and has strengthened current trends. The wheel of digitization shifted a number of years in just a couple of months. Just how much shopping habits will change over the long term due to the pandemic remains to be seen. 

To the study

On Connecta Talk, Dr Daniel Laude provides further information on the e-commerce trend indicator 2020 and its background.

(video only available in German)

Ricarda Raemy

Ricarda Raemy, Customer Insights Specialist, Post CH Ltd
Ricarda Raemy is a market researcher, design thinker and customer experience manager at Swiss Post.

Daniel Laude

Daniel Laude, research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ)
Daniel Laude is a project manager and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ)

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