Online shopping breaches CHF10 billion mark

Fears over coronavirus could boost online shopping this year. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss shoppers spent more than CHF10 billion ($11 billion) online last year, an increase of 8.4% from 2018, according to a study of retail habits.

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Electronics and fashion goods dominated orders. Food accounted for just 2.8% of the total goods consumed (up from 1.8% in 2018), but the report’s authors expect orders to increase this year with people reluctant to go to supermarkets in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Online shoppers predominantly favoured Swiss products, spending CHF8.3 billion in domestic online stores compared to CHF2 billion going to foreign competition.

At the end of 2018, US online giant Amazon said it would reduce the number of items available in Switzerland due to changes in Swiss value-added tax law. By contract, Switzerland’s largest online store Digitec Galaxus recorded sales of more than CHF1 billion for the first time last year.

According to the research, the whole Swiss retail trade turned over CHF91.6 billion in sales last year. Online orders made up 9.1% of this total.

The study was conducted by the Swiss Mail Order Association together with the GfK research institute and Swiss Post.

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