"E-Commerce Sentiment Barometer 2023": Online trade continues to boom

A study by the Zurich School of Business (HWZ) and Swiss Post on e-commerce trends shows: The Swiss love Digitec Galaxus, Amazon and Zalando.

Especially when it comes to travel, event tickets, music, movies and books, Swiss people rely predominantly on the world of online retail. When it comes to online shopping, the marketplace Digitec Galaxus is in the lead, while Amazon is clearly gaining further market share and has overtaken Zalando this year. These are the findings of the Swiss E-Commerce Sentiment Barometer, which examines the habits and preferences of around 10,000 Swiss consumers in online retail. The annual study is conducted jointly by the Zurich School of Business (HWZ) and Swiss Post.

Accordingly, more and more Swiss people are turning to online retailing. As the E-Commerce Sentiment Barometer 2023 shows, this applies in particular to travel, event tickets (65 %), and books, music and films (57 %), which are predominantly purchased online. Digitec Galaxus, Amazon and Zalando are among the most popular online marketplaces for Swiss online shoppers. Amazon in particular (25 %) has gained in importance compared with the previous year (20 %). Online marketplaces primarily enable high availability of products (71%) and comparability of products, prices and retailers (69 %). In general, 69 percent of respondents prefer to make their purchase directly from the manufacturer. 71 percent have purchased from German online stores in the last 12 months, while 37 percent have purchased from China.

Flexible payment terms

Most important to respondents are criteria such as expedient payment processing (89 %) and free shipping (76 %). The study also looks at the payment behavior of customers. In this context, those responsible are observing a steady increase in the popularity of Twint. Four years ago, only 17 percent of respondents preferred the payment method. This year, it was already 52 percent. At the same time, however, the survey also shows that traditional payment methods such as payment by credit card (75 %) or by invoice (71 %) remain popular. The ability to track the shipment online, as well as advance notice of shipment receipt, are important delivery options for all age groups.

The use of devices for online shopping varies from generation to generation, with the following trends emerging here: 76 percent of those aged 34 and under often to always use their smartphone, while the PC is used by 67 percent of those aged 65 and over.

Higher concerns about safety

Furthermore, the study maps what motivates respondents to cancel their order on the Internet. The main reasons for cancelling an order are no delivery in Switzerland (80 %) and hidden costs (79 %). For 67 percent, an uneasy feeling about the security of the store was also the decisive factor, compared with 63 percent in 2022.

Transparency in online shopping and sustainable logistics

77 percent of respondents also want transparency in the origin of products. With regard to the packaging of the goods ordered, the study finds that consumers consider size-optimized shipping with customized packages (77 %), recycled materials (72 %) and reusable packaging (67 %) to be important.

Almost 70 percent often or always inform themselves about the return conditions. By far the most frequent reason for returns is that the item did not meet expectations (89 %). When it comes to returns, simplicity (96 %), transparency of return conditions (94 %) and fast repayment (83 %) are particularly important.


More about the study is available here.

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