Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.21256/zhaw-2414
Publication type: Working paper – expertise – study
Title: Online Retailer Survey 2021 : empirical findings on the e-commerce boom in Switzerland and Austria
Authors: Zumstein, Darius
Oswald, Carmen
Brauer, Claudia
et. al: No
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-2414
Extent: 66
Issue Date: Sep-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Winterthur
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 658.8: Marketing management
Abstract: The Online Retailer Survey has now been conducted four times. A total of 365 online retailer participated in the 2021 study, which encompasses business-to-consumer (86 percent), business-to-business (46 percent) and direct-to-consumer (14 percent) companies. For the first time, 63 Austrian retailers took part, besides a representative 284 Swiss companies. After a record year in 2020, the e-commerce boom is continuing, with online sales in 2021 of 15 billion Swiss francs in Switzerland, which is about 50 percent more than in 2019. E-commerce has made a five-year leap in growth since the beginning of the Corona crisis one and a half years ago. Online retail is booming, with nine out of 10 of the online shops surveyed seeing sales growth in 2020, and a third seeing very strong growth of over 30 percent. Due to an increased stay-at-home attitude and changed consumer behavior, assortments in the home and sporting goods segments have grown strongly (more than 20 percent compared to the previous year) for two-thirds of online retailers since the Corona crisis. Half of the retailers are also selling more food, cosmetics, toys, and furniture online than before the Corona crisis. Nine out of 10 online shops have gained new customers as a result of the Corona crisis, half of them even a great number. One in five have customers who have been buying more and more frequently since the start of the Corona crisis, and in a further fifth of them, customers are not buying more, but more frequently. Small and large online shops alike are benefiting from this e-commerce boom. For example, Galaxus, the leading digital marketplace in Switzerland, has been able to significantly increase its market share not only among customers, but also among retailers. Half of Swiss retailers believe that the decline of physical stores is an upward trend due to increased online commerce. On the other hand, a third of omnichannel retailers believe in the potential of new store formats such as showrooms, click and collect, pick-up, experiential and consultative stores, pop-up stores, and self-service stores. Due to the ongoing strong growth of e-commerce, online retailers have invested a lot in the digital value chain: The extension of product ranges, the hiring of additional staff, and the expansion of warehouse and logistics capacities were mentioned very frequently by the survey participants. Business processes had to be further digitized, and retailers report growing budgets in digital sales and marketing. The study results also confirm that Corona further accelerated the digital transformation and upgraded the value of e-commerce departments. Regarding the organizational, personnel, and cultural impact of the strong e-commerce growth, it can be stated empirically that the demand shock not only created many new jobs, but also new types of job profiles with new requirements. In addition, according to online retailers, the Corona crisis strengthened the digital mindset, cohesion, and solidarity within their teams. The main e-commerce problems currently are currently found in the market and in procurement: Some products are no longer available from manufacturers, importers, or major suppliers, international supply chains have been interrupted or have slowed down in some cases, and purchasing and logistics prices have risen since the Corona crisis. To take advantage of this increased demand for online goods, and attract online customers to their own online stores, almost all companies rely increasingly on digital marketing. Nowadays, no online shop operator can avoid search engines, newsletters, and social media marketing. Thus, the search engines (first and foremost Google) and social media platforms (first and foremost Facebook and Instagram) are among the big winners of the Corona crisis. According to the study results, the Corona losers in terms of marketing and communication are advertisements, newspaper supplements, and sponsoring. For three quarters of online shops, the online marketing budget has grown since the Corona crisis, and the budget has shifted further from offline to online marketing instruments. Services such as click-and-collect or live chat have also gained in importance, while innovative omnichannel retailers have introduced virtual store tours (360-degree tours) and video advice. No major changes were reported in the methods of payment: Purchase on account, PayPal, as well as credit and debit cards are most widely used by retailers. Mobile payment solutions such as TWINT in Switzerland continue to gain market share.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/23116
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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