Switzerland, with a population of 8.6 million, high purchasing power and a strong growth in online retail sales in recent years, appears to be an interesting market for online expansion. The fact that the market is not dominated solely by Amazon (Amazon lands in third place here behind Digitec and Zalando) also makes online expansion promising.
However, caution is advised here, because online retailing in Switzerland presents special challenges. The first challenge is the country’s multilingualism. Websites should be offered in at least the two national languages, German and French. Furthermore, Italian and Romansh are also considered national languages. In general, Swiss German differs significantly from High German.
Especially for SEO, regional terms are advantageous here in order to better adapt advertising measures to the target group.The second challenge is logistics. Since Switzerland is not part of the European Union, every shipment is subject to customs and VAT. Customs duty is calculated according to weight (“weight duty”). Returns can also incur high costs. For example, a 2 kilo return package sent from Switzerland to Germany will incur postage costs of approximately 39 euros.