The ecommerce industry in Switzerland grew by 8.7% in 2017 and totalled 6.25bn Swiss francs, or €5.27 billion. In 2018 further growth of 10% is predicted, meaning ecommerce in Switzerland will be worth nearly €7bn this year. The country, for reference, has a population of close to 8.4 million people.
The figures come from the 2018 Switzerland Ecommerce Report issued by the Ecommerce Foundation. And of particular interest to merchants will be the fact that the report also reveals that two thirds of ecommerce purchases in Switzerland are made from overseas. Obviously, Switzerland isn’t in the EU or the Eurozone but is a part of the EEA (European Economic Area).
And when the Swiss do buy from overseas they tend to buy from German retailers and merchants although French, American and Chinese online stores are also popular. If you are keen to target Swiss shoppers, Amazon FBA in Germany may be a good bet and first option. The Swiss are also more than averagely affluent.
The report says that the potential for ecommerce growth in Switzerland is: ’staggeringly high’. Not least because internet penetration in the country stands at 95% and the postal service is effective.
The level of infrastructure is also high, meaning that the foundations for a strong ecommerce market are present. The largest issues faced by Swiss consumers are delivery speed, tech failure and/or complaints about an online order. However, the rates of annoyance are relatively low, with most below 5%.
– Switzerland Ecommerce Report, Ecommerce Foundation
Obviously ecommerce in Switzerland is doing well but is it a big market for British merchants? Anecdotally, it’s difficult to say. But it does serve as an example of how ecommerce might look in the UK post-Brexit. The UK is much bigger than Switzerland but it does exist as a successful ecommerce entity outside of the EU and is a willing importer.