Home » Online spending rises in Switzerland – SWI swissinfo.ch

Online spending rises in Switzerland – SWI swissinfo.ch

Online spending rises in Switzerland – SWI swissinfo.ch

44% of survey respondents in Switzerland perceived the product range online as more attractive than in-store.


In Switzerland, the proportion of bricks-and-mortar retail has only increased slightly in recent years, while shopping with a smartphone or laptop remains popular and consumer spending per order is increasing.

There are differences in purchasing behaviour between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A representative survey by the University of St. Gallen found that bricks-and-mortar retail had increased more in neighbouring countries than in Switzerland, where online shopping remains popular.

“The offers and delivery from online shops are relatively cheap,” said study author Thomas Rudolph from the Institute of Retail Management at the University of St. Gallen.

Another reason, according to Rudolph, is the affinity the Swiss population for online. In addition, Swiss retailers’ online shops have a remarkably simple design. Convenience also plays a central role for customers and this needs to be considered, said Rudolph.

The survey showed that 44% of respondents in Switzerland perceived the product range online as more attractive than in-store. Additionally, 23% of respondents rated the price of digital shopping as more attractive compared to in-store pricing.

From laptop to smartphone

A shift can also be observed within digital shopping, with more and more people using their smartphones to shop online.

“At Digitec Galaxus, two-thirds of customers access the online shop using their smartphone,” said media spokesperson Stephan Kurmann.

The Swiss online retailer’s observations are in line with the results of the survey conducted by the University of St. Gallen. In Switzerland, 43% of respondents said they made their online purchases via smartphone. In 2017, this figure was just 12%.

Spend per online order increasing

Those who ordered via laptop spent an average of CHF156 ($177) per purchase in 2017. Today the figure is just under CHF300. When ordering on a smartphone, an average of just over CHF220 is spent. In 2017, it was CHF126.


If both online orders and purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores are taken into account, spend per purchase is also increasing. The strongest increase since 2017 was recorded in electronics (+57%), while clothing has seen spend per purchase rise by 21% since 2017.

Risky buying behaviour

Online shopping, especially via smartphone, also has its downsides. “One in five people in Switzerland exhibit risky purchasing behaviour. The problem is exacerbated when individuals have the entire shopping centre in their pocket all day long,” says shopping addiction expert Christina Messerli. She advises people to take their concerns seriously and talk to someone about it.

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp/amva

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

If you want to know more about how we work, have a look here, and if you have feedback on this news story please write to english@swissinfo.ch.

External Content

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.

Almost finished… We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.