‘Switzerland needs a strong local B2C marketplace’

‘Switzerland needs a strong local B2C marketplace’

In many countries, Amazon is the first stop for online shopping. In Switzerland, there is still no corresponding counterpart. A recent survey shows that three quarters of retailers think that a strong Swiss B2C online marketplace would be good for the country, so Amazon can’t gain more market share.

It’s one of the findings from the latest E-Commerce Report Schweiz, conducted by Datatrans and FHNW. This report shows there are some things the Swiss ecommerce industry needs to overcome, as it is being influenced increasingly by foreign retailers.

Market figures published by the Swiss Mail Order Association (VSV) and GfK already showed a growth rate of just under 10 percent for ecommerce in Switzerland over the past year. Of course, that’s a growth rate the stationary retail trade is still jealous of, but perhaps ecommerce should have done better.

Market share foreign retailers: 20% in 2015

Participants on the Datatrans survey showed lower growth rates than in previous year and 40 percent of them were even forced to post a decline in online sales. “One of the reasons for this development is the strong growth in the market share held by foreign ecommerce vendors which rose from 18 to 20 percent in 2015”, the study suggests. Still, more than 80 percent anticipate growth in their ecommerce business for 2016, but also think the industry as a whole will grow this year.

Datatrans says in Switzerland there is still no serious alternative to Amazon. There are of course the online marketplaces Richardo.ch and Siroop, but “as B2C marketplaces these two have, so to say, reached zero hour”. One year after Tamedia acquired Ricardo.ch and Ricardoshops.ch, researchers claim they have give no indication as to the direction that their B2C journey is going to take. They are more positive about the startup Siroop, “currently perhaps the most exciting ecommerce project in Switzerland”

Amazon counterpart in Switzerland?

Amazon in Switzerland: 8% market share

It’s estimated Amazon held a 8 percent market share in Switzerland last year. The American ecommerce company is feared by many local vendors, but as the study suggests there are two missing service features that Amazon still needs in order to become a resounding success in Switzerland. “an Amazon Switzerland webshop or a filter for products that can be delivered to Switzerland as well as a logistics system at least offering next-day delivery as standard. However, the attractiveness of Switzerland to Amazon should not be underestimated. There are plenty of good reasons why Amazon could continue to be satisfied with the low-hanging fruit in the future too.”

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