Swiss consumer shift towards more local consumption during Covid-19 pandemic

25 May 2020

Together with its research partner ApertaMente, Netcomm Suisse Observatory surveyed Swiss consumers on how Covid-19 is impacting their behavior. The survey talks about their change in online shopping habits and about how consumer preferences are changing.

The survey that was fielded in early May 2020 looked back on the past 2 months where Swiss consumers were facing lockdown measures in order to prevent a rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus in Switzerland and compared the online purchasing behavior in new normality with the behavior shown in 2019. 

The report reveals an increase in monthly online shoppers (people who order with a frequency of between 'multiple times per week' to 'once a months') across almost all covered sectors. The strongest effects were seen in tools, gardening and do-it-yourself (+74%), education and online courses (+34%), and books and media (+31%). The largest user base during the Covid-19 pandemic is shown for digital entertainment, such as movie streaming services and fashion (each with 59% of the sample as active users).

Average expenditures per purchase have decreased across almost all categories with the strongest effects on travel and tourism, fashion, and tools, gardening and do-it-yourself. This could be related to a higher order frequency where consumers place smaller orders of less value. On the other side, lower spending also reflects uncertainty which is confirmed by a share of 50% of survey participants indicating the postponement of larger acquisitions.

The report reveals further shifts in consumer behavior due to Covid-19:

  • 48% of consumers indicate to spend their summer holidays in 2020 in Switzerland. 38% intend to travel more locally after the pandemic.
  • 37% of the survey participants indicate to buy more often from local merchants and producers during the pandemic. This trend could be followed by 55% in the time after Covid-19.
  • 48% of the sample use the internet more often for searching health-related information. Further 32% use the time of social distancing to follow a well-balanced diet.
  • Consumers indicate to become more conscious in the consumption as 46% indicate to care more about the environment and sustainability in the future.
  • e-Commerce is expected to become even more important as 32% of the panel thinks to order more frequently online in the future.


Discover our full report and a free preview here:

Netcomm Suisse members have free access to all our researches.

The report was created in close collaboration with our research partner ApertaMente.


Research methodology:

  • Computer-assisted web interviews (CAWI)
  • 213 completed surveys of Swiss-based online shoppers
  • Interview length: 15 minutes

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