In Switzerland, 15.6% of purchases are made online, slightly above the European average of 15.5%, according to a survey by the delivery company DPD. However, when it comes to returning items Swiss e-shoppers are far above the European average.
The most common items bought online in Switzerland are books, clothing and shoes. 49% of books, 61% of shoes and 68% of clothes are bought online. All of these percentages were higher in Switzerland than the European averages: books (46 %), shoes (50 %), clothes (58 %).
The main motivations cited for shopping online were convenience and saving money. 72 % of Swiss e-shoppers think that online shopping saves time, while 51 % also think that it saves money. In addition, 63 % of regular e-shoppers think that shopping online is less stressful than shopping in store.
Shopping online saves time and the possibility to save money. But it doesn’t allow clothing and shoes to be tested for fit, something online retailers have tried to resolve with free returns.
In Switzerland, 27% of the regular e-shoppers surveyed returned their last order, compared to the European average of 12%. Why is unclear. One hypothesis is that it is driven by the possibility offered in Switzerland to have items shipped ahead of payment, something rare across the rest of the world, reported RTS.
The company Zalando is the returns leader. 50% of all returns across Europe are to the company.
However, the free return honeymoon appears to be ending. Some large online retailers are starting to charge for returns. And Zalando now only offers free returns on orders costing more than CHF 30.
DPD survey (in English)
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