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7 September 2018 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Evolution of e-commerce following the arrival of Amazon in Switzerland

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A pioneer in e-commerce, the multinational Amazon has opened its borders to offer its services in Switzerland. Is this the beginning of a new era for online commerce in Switzerland?

Positive changes at Amazon

The arrival of Amazon can bring many strategic improvements in this area. This Internet sales platform already has a wealth of experience and a worldwide reputation for efficiency. It can therefore make it easier for professionals who wish to sell their products throughout Switzerland. Thanks to Amazon’s reputation, using these services can be a strategy to increase sales.

Online shopping is in the process of development in Switzerland, with only 1/20th of spending taking place online. With Amazon’s presence, the wind is turning in favor of the proponents of e-commerce. The site offers a delivery time of 24 hours, which encourages more and more buyers to use this e-merchant, rather than going to the store for the same products sought, especially since the shipping costs applied are generally low or zero.

The main concerns of e-merchants

E-commerce is still developing in Switzerland, as the market is mainly dominated by physical stores. However, there are already a few large online sales platforms that are more important, such as Galaxus and Digitec. Unfortunately, their marketing and delivery times are not as attractive as those of Amazon: in addition to the power of Amazon’s brand image, it can take four to five days or even longer to deliver and ship your order to competitors. This can lead to a considerable loss of customers in the face of a highly strategic competitor.

Amazon’s services offer added value, particularly with regard to the delivery of products from neighboring countries such as France and Germany. Amazon allows more direct access to a wide range of products, which can reduce demand from importers but increase conversion on its site.

Facing Amazon, a difficult challenge for all companies

Given the scale of Amazon in international trade, small businesses need to review their strategy in the face of this competition. They need to put more emphasis on customer contact and in-store rewards (after-sales service, advice from a salesperson) and integrate it into their loyalty strategies.

In addition to an marketing strategy and targeted communication, Amazon offers a catalogue of products from a variety of fields, such as household appliances, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, etc., which are available to small businesses. It is this variety of available products that enabled them to complete delivery of more than five billion items across the globe in 2017 and generate thousands of transactions. This e-business has therefore been able to take advantage of digital advances and to build loyalty in certain communities.

State of play of online commerce in Switzerland in 2021

According to the UNCTAD, Switzerland has arrived in 2020 at the top of its index on e-commerce in BtoC, i.e. between businesses and consumers. This ranking was previously led by the Netherlands. This index reviews approximately 152 countries.

For your information, in 2019, 75% of the Swiss made a purchase online.

Among the criteria taken into account, there are:

  • access to a bank, a prerequisite for making payments online,
  • the number of online stores, which is very good in proportion to the size of the country
  • the quality of the delivery network which is very efficient.

For 2021 the forecasts are still going in the direction of a positive evolution. Although the year 2020 has accelerated the growth of the sector because of the covid, there are still 38% of Swiss who say they want to keep the same buying habits.

As an example of this phenomenon, Migros Online supermarkets had a 40% growth in 2020 and the head of the company expects a 20% increase in sales in 2021.

The arrival of Amazon in Switzerland brings more advantages for consumers than for local e-merchants. Some merchants can see this as an opportunity to show the advantages of human contact, compared to the digitalization of commerce, thanks to effective communication campaigns. It is an opportunity to rally around local commerce to fight against merchant sites that are gaining market share.  

Would you like to be supported in the implementation of e-commerce and marketing tools? In the modeling and optimization of your business processes? Do not hesitate to contact us.