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Publication type: Working paper – expertise – study
Title: Swiss Online Retailer Survey 2020 : the sustainable growth of e-commerce and challenges in times of crisis
Authors: Zumstein, Darius
Oswald, Carmen
et. al: No
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-2396
Extent: 52
Issue Date: Nov-2020
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Winterthur
Language: English
Subjects: E-commerce; Swiss Online Retailer
Subject (DDC): 337: International economics and commerce
Abstract: The Swiss Online Retailer Survey was created in 2018 and has now been conducted three times. A total of 330 Swiss online shops participated in the 2020 study, which encompasses business-to-consumer (B2C; 87 percent), business-to-business (B2B; 40 percent), and direct-to-consumer (D2C; 10 percent) companies. One-third of the online shops surveyed are active in B2C and B2B. Since March 2020, Swiss online trading has been experiencing an unexpected boom as a direct result of the coro-navirus pandemic: In half of the online shops, product orders have grown by more than 20 percent compared with the previous year. The e-commerce boom is continuing: 82 percent of online retailers expect sustainable growth in the future. Since the corona crisis, an unusually high proportion of home and living products, food, sports goods, multimedia, electronic equipment, and computers have been ordered online. The reasons for this lie in the closure of physical stores, an increased tendency to stay at home, avoidance of going into stores, and changes in free-time and work behavior. During the corona crisis, those companies broadly positioned in digital buying and selling ben-efited. With online shops and selling through digital marketplaces, email, WhatsApp, or another app, omnichannel retailers could compensate for the decline in sales from physical stores. Since March 2020, online shops have faced various challenges: The run on online orders led initially to procurement and delivery problems, delays in order processing, capacity bottlenecks in stockpiling, logistics, and customer ser-vice, and also to difficult management decisions such as how to implement home office working and corona pro-tection concepts. The short and medium-term measures taken by online retailers at the time of the lockdown were related to the extension of their product ranges, staffing levels, capacities in warehouse logistics, and marketing and communications adjustments. To prepare for the future, retailers are now planning further investments in online shops (systems), product ranges, order processing, storage capacities, further education and training, digitization, and digital marketing. In terms of cross-border e-commerce, it was confirmed that only one in four Swiss online retailers sells products abroad, mostly directly from Switzerland. The biggest challenges here concern customs clearance (customs docu-mentation, costs, and the handling of returns) and international logistics. Regarding payment in online shops, little has changed. Credit cards and invoicing remain the most popular payment methods for retailers and customers. However, the use of mobile payment methods such as TWINT has increased enormously; at every second Swiss online shop, you can now pay by TWINT. Payments are typically processed by the four payment providers PayPal, PostFinance, Saferpay (Worldline/SIX Payment Services), and Datatrans. The questionnaire relating to B2B e-commerce revealed that online shops often offer B2B-specific functions, such as displaying customer-specific prices, user self-administration, and current stock levels – and that many different systems are well integrated into the online shop. These include search and filtering, digital analytics, content man-agement, product information, recommendations, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning. In B2B, the vast majority of Swiss retailers differentiate themselves through an extensive product range, exclusive services, or unique products.
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Institute of Marketing Management (IMM)
Appears in collections:Marketing

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