Switzerland is going digital. Yet Swiss shopping is less online-integrated than in neighbouring countries. Which retailers will lead the coming changes?
All is not what meets the eye. The Swiss are placing fewer orders online, making Switzerland a digital laggard in international terms. At the same time, new consumer segments are growing tech-savvy - creating opportunities for e-commerce to win new customers.
Online retail is popular, except when it’s not. Swiss shoppers want to choose channels as they like, and to mix them at will. Shop and buy online, shop and buy in-store, or hybridise the two – all are possible and preferable, depending on the product.
Social media is booming in Switzerland – but hardly any consumer uses it to shop or explore products. Is there a limit to how social shoppers want to be online? Or have market actors failed to reap the potentially large benefits of consumer engagement?
Mobile devices are omnipresent, but mobile shopping and payment aren’t. Unpractical apps and privacy concerns hamper the growth of m-commerce. Still, consumers are using their phones more than ever before - for product research, if not for purchase.
Switzerland has long been a special case in many sectors, including retail. And it might continue that way, but market share will accrue to retailers who master the merger of online and in-store shopping - not those who just happen to be in the market already.
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