How to conquer the Swiss online market - Channable
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How to conquer the Swiss online market

October 03, 2018

There is an enormous potential for e-commerce in Switzerland. You’ll need hiking equipment to keep up with it, because the growth of online sales is steep like that of a Swiss mountain. More and more international competitors successfully sell their goods on the Swiss online market, despite the challenges that come with it. Read why you should start selling your goods in Switzerland and what you should keep in mind.

How to conquer the Swiss online market

Sell in the land of watches and chocolate
From 2012 to 2017, the e-commerce sector grew by 53% and this trend will continue over the next few years. Even if it took the Swiss a bit longer to use online marketplaces, nowadays Swiss consumers love to shop online. Last year, they spent almost 9 billion Swiss Francs (spread amongst only 8 million inhabitants) on the internet. In 2017, almost 20 percent of all online sales were made on webshops from abroad. According to carpathia over the next three years, foreign trade is expected to rapidly increase by another 20 percent. Now is the perfect time to start an expansion into Switzerland. Do you want to jump on the bandwagon? You can profit from the success of international marketplaces and the trend of shopping from abroad if you join the Swiss market now.

The Swiss particularities
International online retailers are on the rise and are unstoppable. But, how do you conquer a market that is resilient? This is a question raised by many online retailers who want to sell their items in Switzerland. Swiss people like Swiss products but competition from abroad is increasingly putting Swiss online retailers under pressure. The Swiss online marketplaces have to compete with vendors and marketplaces from abroad. The online marketplace, Digitec Galaxus, is still the market leader but international players in e-commerce are catching up. Players such as Amazon – who only launched in Switzerland in 2018, Zalando and AliExpress were all in the top 10 top-selling marketplaces in Switzerland last year.

Foreign vendors must make an extra effort and offer good deals to convince Swiss citizens to commit to purchasing. Alongside logistical and administrative hurdles there are further obstacles such as insufficient product information. Product specifications must be communicated as clearly as possible, which can be solved easily with a feed management tool if international vendors want to successfully sell their goods and services in Switzerland.

Climbing over the Matterhorn to reach the Swiss market
Cross-border trade in Switzerland requires some knowledge in the areas of VAT, customs clearance and logistics. In many cases, it pays off to work with logistics partners who are specialized in offering tailor-made solutions.

What are the most important points to consider when trading online from abroad to Switzerland?

  • Language:
    Multilingualism is an important feature of Switzerland as there are 4 official national languages spoken in the small country. If your online shop is available in at least two languages (German and French are the majorities) you already have an advantage in the Swiss market.
  • Currency:
    The goods and services should be offered in Swiss Francs. Not only the price but also the payment methods are decisive. According to the ecommerce news magazine, bill payment is the most popular method, but credit card, PayPal and PostFinance should not be missed. If you sell your products only on marketplaces, no need to adapt the currency on your website, because the sale will take place directly on the marketplace. Problem solved!
  • Customs and shipping:
    When importing your products, you must complete a customs declaration for each parcel with the price of the goods in Swiss Francs. For each package there is an import and sales tax. That sounds pretty complicated and laborious? That’s why there are logistic solutions that pick up orders in your existing warehouse in Europe and process the entire import customs clearance. You don’t need a warehouse or company location in Switzerland to offer customers the same ordering convenience as Swiss e-commerce retailers. For returns, you will receive a refund for the import duties. More information can be found at the Swiss Customs Administration.
  • Taxes:
    Value added tax (VAT) is very low in Switzerland. It amounts to 7,7% of the assessment basis. A reduced rate of 2.5% applies for certain goods (e.g. edibles, books, magazines and medications).

 

The most lucrative Swiss marketplaces
The Digitec Galaxus AG and ricardo are the main Swiss marketplaces in the e-commerce market.

  • Digitec Galaxus
    Digitec Galaxus AG is the largest online marketplace in Switzerland. With about one million active customers, Digitec Galaxus is the #1 online store in Switzerland. It had 861 Billion revenue on the platforms digitec.cg and galaxus.ch in 2017. Both marketplaces offer a broad and growing sortiment. Digitec Galaxus works with established and select vendors. As a retailer, you pay no basic fees but will be subject to a sales commission, when you sell an item. For EU merchants Galaxus offers a customs clearance solution, the EU hub. Read more in the merchant programme.
  • ricardo
    ricardo.ch is more than just a marketplace, it’s an online auction house and has a very high reach in Switzerland. The listing of products on ricardo is free. You only pay a commission fee of 9% on each sale.

The following channels are also very popular in Switzerland: Amazon, Zalando, AliExpress, Wish, Facebook, Shopping.ch and Google Shopping.

Channable offers marketplace connections to Digitec Galaxus and ricardo, and links to many other Swiss online sales channels. With our tool you can adapt your product data according to the requirements of the marketplaces and list your products automatically on the channels.
Do you want to start selling in Switzerland? Get started and conquer the Swiss market!

Written by Babette Bürgi
Marketing DACH
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Channable Christmas Giveaway!

 

Guess how many GOLD baubles are on our Christmas tree to win a Channable BBQ, perfect for smoking a Christmas Turkey! Entries can be submitted via the form below, 1 entry per email address and entries close 24th Dec. Winners will be contacted in the New Year!

 

 



 

 

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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

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Channable’s Christmas Trivia!

 

Christmas doesn’t only have to be fun and games for the children. We’re a fan of the Gift Grab game here at Channable. Instructions are as follows:

 

There are two rounds. You’ll need a dice, a large surface where you can swap and steal easily, and everyone must bring two wrapped presents, they can be anything from an iPhone X (wow thanks!) or even a boring old can of beans. Put all the gifts in a pile in the middle of the area.

 

Everyone rolls the die and the highest roll gets to go first. The first player rolls the dice and must follow the action related to the number thrown.

 

  • Action 1: Choose a present from the pile, but don’t unwrap it!
  • Action 2: Move any gifts you have to the person on your left!
  • Action 3: Choose a gift from the pile and unwrap it!
  • Action 4: Move any gifts you have to the person on your right!
  • Action 5: Unwrap one present (if you have one)!
  • Action 6: Choose a present from the pile, but don’t unwrap it!

 

Once there are no more gifts in the pile, the second round begins (set a timer for around 15 minutes or the game can last forever):

 

  • Action 1: Give one of your presents to someone else.
  • Action 2: Everyone needs to give one gift to the person on their right.
  • Action 3 : Everyone has to swap all their gifts with someone else.
  • Action 4: SWAP one gift with someone else.
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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

 

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Channable Christmas Trivia!

 

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Ingredients:

250g self raising flour

125g brown sugar

100g soft butter

4 tbsp milk

2 tbsp speculaas spices ( or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp white pepper, pinch of cardamon, pinch nutmeg)

Pinch salt

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 150 C.
  2. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the spices.
  3. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a separate bowl. Add the milk. 
  4. Create a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. 
  5. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients to make a dough.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and fridge for 20 minutes. 
  7. Once chilled, form the dough into small grape-sized balls. 
  8. Place the small balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper and squash them slightly and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. 
  9. Remove, cool and enjoy! Happy Sinterklaas!

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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

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Channable Christmas Giveaway!

 

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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

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Channable Christmas Trivia!

 

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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

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Channable Christmas Trivia!

 

Christmas means Christmas movies! Channable’s Top 12 Christmas must sees are:

 

Jingle All the Way

Santa Claus: The Movie

Miracle on 34th Street

Joulutarina

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Polar Express

Home Alone (1 and 2, technically you can call it one LONG movie)

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Channable’s Christmas Tips & Tricks!

 

Channable’s support team is known for it’s undeniable friendliness and efforts to go above and beyond to help Channable clients. They reply to over 50% of queries within the first 8 hours which is faster than the industry average, receive 8x more queries than other tech companies with an average of over 400 email requests a week. We’re proud of them and encourage you to send an email with what you’d like us to gift them with for their efforts. Be it a cake, a beer or a song! Let us know!