Swiss E-Commerce: Expanding international sales with online channels

Swiss SMEs still do not make efficient use of the big sales potential generated by the worldwide 1.1 billion online shoppers. Where does Switzerland stand in the global online shopper’s world? This is the focus of a new study, under the patronage of the International Trade Centre ITC.

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E-commerce may help to grow your business abroad.

E-commerce is increasingly important for small and large businesses alike. While many enterprises find that e-commerce can be a profitable way of reaching customers or sourcing supplies, many enterprises also face substantial challenges and issues when doing e-commerce. Take part in ITC's study to help them better understand the challenges faced by enterprises when doing cross-border e-commerce. The answers are used to help shape practical solutions and global policies to reduce the barriers that enterprises face in international e-commerce.

Participate now under this link.

The international relevance of e-commerce

A NetComme Suisse study, released together with S-GE in November 2016, shows that:

  • Swiss e-commerce continues to boast a sparkling reputation for quality products, payment security and prompt delivery

  • The world loves Swiss online shopping but the full potential is yet to be seized

  • 34% of total Swiss e-commerce expenditure is spent abroad, representing an excellent opportunity for national players to win back market share by better meeting national needs

Fostering exports with online sales channels

«E-commerce and further digital tools pave the way to international growth, facilitating marketing and sales and providing an added value in particular for distant markets. Building on online platforms, innovative business models become possible that would have been out of reach for SMEs with limited resources only a few years ago, whether in B2B or B2C», says Daniel Küng, CEO of S-GE. «However, entering a new market remains complex – regulatory and cultural differences require special attention. Management should always prepare well for a move of such strategic importance.»

Cross-border potential yet to be exploited

At a global level, there are 1.1 billion online shoppers aged over 14 who make over 1900 billion dollars of B2C e-commerce value (Ecommerce Foundation’s Global e-Commerce Report), while at a European level, 296 million e-shoppers generate some 455 billion dollars. However, very few countries have reached their full online sales potential. For example, 34% of total Swiss e-Commerce expenditure is spent abroad due to the following reasons:

  • better prices (75%)

  • the availability of products and services (39%)

  • the greater selection of products (36%).

In numbers, an estimated 3 billion CHF are spent abroad, mostly in Germany (33%), France (14%) and China (12%).

Perception of Swiss e-shops is good, conversion is low

Swiss e-shops are particularly highly rated by Italy and Germany. 29% and 27% of consumers respectively would recommend buying products from a Swiss site. Further afield, 36% of Russian consumers (in St Petersburg and Moscow) and 34% of Chinese shoppers (in Shanghai) would promote Switzerland as a destination for e-shopping. However, in Russia only 1.1% of users buy from Switzerland and in China just 1.7% get out their wallets.

S-GE Members get the NetComme Suisse study for free

S-GE members benefit and can order their study for free. Write an email to and ask for «The Swiss e-commerce factor».



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