E-Commerce in Switzerland: Rosy outlook, despite Euro devaluation

Grafik: Kosala Bandara
Graphic: Kosala Bandara

It is always worth taking a look at our neighbours. The Swiss e-commerce branch has been having a particularly hard time in the past few months: the rise in the value of the Franc and strong foreign providers are shaking the market. Despite this, Swiss online shops have a positive future outlook, if you believe one recent study by technical university Nordwestschweiz FHNW. The largest online shops in Switzerland, like ricardo.ch and geschenkidee.ch participated.

Alongside the ever present mobile, the study looks at the digital transformation in the area of ticketing as their yearly focus. The study examines the sale of tickets in online shops and their following use in traffic and at events. The magic word is often “mobile” here as well.

E-Commerce in Switzerland – all is well?

90 percent of the companies expect e-commerce growth in their branch in 2015 – despite foreign shops “poaching” in Switzerland. 40 percent have a positive outlook for the future in addition to this, and 90 percent expect a 40 percent higher turnover in the next five years in comparison to 2015. Great hopes are being placed on increasing user friendly check-out processes on mobile devices. Everyone knows mobile is a growth driver.

E-Commerce in der Schweiz
E-Commerce in Switzerland

So, positive outlooks, despite the fall of the Euro at the beginning of the year leading to stomach aches and falling turnover. Swiss online shops had to react with ruthless price cuts to stay competitive. But the situation seems to have calmed down, even if not every company was able to completely compensate for the devaluation, according to the study.

E-Commerce is expanding…with foreign providers

The study also asked companies about how e-commerce will develop in the next 5 years. No one expected a decline. 15 percent were positive (“up to 15 percent higher than today”), and 15 percent expect 50 percent higher turnover volume in 2020. This positive mood could only be spoiled by the expected shift to foreign providers.

E-Commerce in der Schweiz
E-Commerce in Switzerland

Further parts of the Swiss e-commerce branch could be lost to foreign providers. Particularly Asian competitors, like Alibaba, are viewed as a threat.

Annual focus: Ticketing

The study took the ticketing branch as they annual focus. There is still potential for the digital transformation of the ticket, both in transport and events. Once again, the solution is mobile: simple check-out processes, fast registration, and identification via smartphone could soon replace classic tickets.

Interestingly, ticketing for event providers, which enter direct sales via the right channels, and for the service provider normally selling tickets on their behalf were left out of the picture.

The Swiss e-commerce branch has to try harder

The study by technical university Nordwestschweiz FHNW shows that e-commerce companies are going well, despite the Euro devaluation. But the future is not entirely rosy – foreign providers from Asia and German-speaking regions should not be under estimated. Amazon still plays a role here too.

Developments in ticketing show that Switzerland is in no way behind other countries when it comes to innovation. Platform and service providers are springing up all over the place. The complete study is not just relevant for the Swiss and it can be downloaded here free of charge.

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