Welcome to Klarna’s Shopping Pulse: Switzerland
Almost 2 years into the pandemic, digital transformation has accelerated, and shoppers have turned online more than ever before. Many retailers have pivoted to evolve their online presence to meet new shopper expectations online. But does this mean physical stores are irrelevant? Not at all. Our research shows physical stores still play an essential role for shoppers. That said, many people anticipate they will shop online even more often in the future.
In this report, you’ll find a pulse check on shopping habits worldwide — and more specifically, in Switzerland.
Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in collaboration with research agency Dynata to a representative sample of 1,035 consumers from Switzerland aged 18-65+ in May 2022.
The data from that survey has been compared with the data from Klarna’s Pulse reports, which are conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland). The research is conducted quarterly and always includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, 11,740 consumers participated during Q1 2022 (January-March). The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.
12,775 consumers, out of which 1,035 from Switzerland.
Online shopping data.
Insights from Klarna’s shopping data. Klarna serves more than 147 million consumers and 400,000 retailers.
Digital transformation in retail.
Online shopping has accelerated amid the pandemic. And there are no signs of the digital transformation slowing down. Shoppers’ preferences for online shopping continue to increase despite restrictions lifting in physical stores worldwide.
Online shopping is on the rise.
Shoppers globally are growing increasingly fond of online shopping. Not surprisingly, many retailers have stepped up their digital offerings during the pandemic. Younger generations prefer the online shopping experience while their older peers are trending in the same direction as they grow increasingly tech-savvy.
is preferred by the average shopper in Switzerland, and only Austrians favor the in-store shopping experience to a higher extent. This is in stark contrast to Germans, who are on the verge of preferring online stores.
Gen Z & Millennials
are equally favoring online shopping as much as physical stores in Switzerland.
Physical stores are still the norm for shoppers.
Consumers are still shopping in physical stores more frequently than they are shopping online. Preference for online shopping is the highest in the UK, US and Australia.
The charts below show the percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped online and in physical stores respectively at least once a week.
of shoppers from Switzerland shop online at least once a week, which is far lower than in any neighbouring country – only Finland (23%) and Norway (21%) have as few weekly online shoppers.
Some categories appear more available online than others.
While some retail categories are shopped more often online, physical stores still see certain product types are bought more often in person. The biggest differences are found across some of the most commonly bought categories, indicating an opportunity for disruption, as online shopping’s main drivers are convenience and the ability to save time.
The charts below show the average percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped the category online and in physical stores respectively.
Clothing & Shoes, Electronics and Entertainment
are shopped more often online than in physical stores, while Jewelry & Accessories are shopped about as often online as in physical stores in Switzerland.
Traditional offline categories ripe for disruption.
Online shopping means people can access offers from all over the world, regardless of whether they are in a major city or the countryside. Still, some products appear more available than others.
The chart illustrates consumers’ mindset with regards to the extent they prefer to shop online and in physical stores.
Erotic materials/Toys and Entertainment
are the categories most prefer to shop online.
Groceries and Pharmaceutical products
are the categories most preferred to shop in physical stores.
Attitudes towards online and physical stores.
Shoppers’ choice heavily depends on whether they are looking to save time and money—or whether they are looking for better social interaction and customer service.
Saving time and comparing prices remain the 2 main perceived benefits of online shopping for shoppers in Switzerland, while more shoppers believe that social interaction and customer service are better at physical stores. The benefits attributed to physical stores are fewer, but have a higher impact for the final verdict in regards to the best overall shopping experience.
of shoppers in New Zealand consider physical stores the better overall shopping experience.
believe they get better inspiration online. The driving forces could be found later in this report, considering their overrepresentation in attending live shopping events online and consuming shoppable social media content.
Shoppers expect innovation in the retail space.
The vast majority of shoppers across the world believe that retailers need to continuously invest in new technology to meet their evolving expectations. This is consistent across all countries and age groups.
Technology investments are a must.
Today’s shoppers are looking for innovative solutions that give them a better shopping experience. These are the main focus areas for online and physical stores according to shoppers themselves.
is the most wanted improvement in Switzerland, followed by personalized product recommendations and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR).
Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)
is currently twice as anticipated for online shopping in the wider population—but Gen Z’ers from Switzerland stand out by expecting investments to almost the same extent in physical stores.
Social shopping on the rise.
Social media and online live shopping events drive increased engagement, discovery, and more informed purchasing decisions—particularly among younger generations.
Digitalization of shopping.
The path to shopping begins in similar patterns according to countries and generations, with search engines (e.g., Google) being the channel of choice for product search. Consumers tend to visit online stores a second time to research their products.
Followers become buyers.
On average, 26% of shoppers have purchased a product after seeing it on social media. And about half of them did it directly from the platform.
Social channels to shopping discovery.
After discovering it on social media, purchasing a product is becoming common in all consumer groups—and especially among younger generations.
Brands have the most impact on shopping discovery in Switzerland followed by retailers.
The younger you are, the more likely you are to follow influencers to a higher extent than retailers. The opposite is true for retailers.
Social media climbers.
Social media has made it easier than ever to discover new trends and items. Shoppers find both inspiration—and shopping opportunities.
Youtube, Facebook and Snapchat
are the main social media platform used to purchase a product in Switzerland.
is used by female audiences to a much higher extent than male audiences.
Taking the shopping experience to the next level.
Shoppers are looking for innovative online shopping experiences, and are keen to engage with new types of experiences such as livestream shopping.
very few Swiss shoppers have participated in livestream shopping events. Another 30% have heard about it, but not tried it yet.
of Gen Z’ers have tried it so far, and the majority recognize the emerging trend.
Benefits of livestream shopping.
The modern online version of teleshopping invites shoppers to engage with their favorite influencers to get inspiration and get access to exclusive discounts.
exclusive discounts and learning more about sustainability and environmental impact of the products are the main perceived benefits of live shopping events in Switzerland.
Mobile shopping online and in-store.
As smartphones and tablets continue to take screen time from computers, mobile devices are expected to play a central role in the continued digitalization of retail.
Mobile shopping on the rise.
Many shoppers have changed their purchasing habits as a result of the pandemic, with more now turning to their mobile devices to carry out their shopping needs. Although much of the growth in mobile shopping compared to two years ago is Gen Z and Millennial-driven, this trend is reflective across demographics. And many believe they will use their mobile phones for shopping to a further extent in the future.
of shoppers in Switzerland have used their mobile phone to shop online.
shop with it more often compared to 2 years ago.
believe they will use it even more often in the near future, which is more than in most other countries.
More informed mobile shoppers.
While the digitalization of retail has given additional power to the consumer—including more choice and information—it has also made the decision-making process more complex. Drawing price comparisons and searching for deals and promotions are the most common activities people do when shopping online, followed closely by the ability to manage bought and returned items through delivery tracking.
of shoppers in Switzerland compare prices and look for deals and promotions online.
keep track of their deliveries and returns, and the majority use various apps to do so.
Virtual cards on the rise.
Virtual cards, also known as electronic cards, can be used when making online purchases and act as digital replacements to regular physical cards. A virtual card number is unique and temporary, and is generated for each usage to increase safety for both the card holder and the issuer.
The vast majority (84%) of those that have tried it say they would rather make all future online purchases with virtual cards instead of physical cards.
have used a virtual card, and 36% have heard about it.
of those that have used one say they would rather make all future online purchases with virtual cards instead of physical cards.
The modern shopping experience begins online, and leaves a digital footprint in-store.
Online research, also called “webrooming,” plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. The majority of modern day trips to the mall start online.
Smartphones have become ubiquitous for shoppers while they’re in a store. Similar to online, in-store shoppers are also making comparisons for competitive prices and offers, and checking product reviews and testimonials to make sure they’ve found the right product.
In Switzerland, no less than 74% of shoppers start their in-store shopping journey by doing research online – and 60% continue to use their smartphones in-store for additional research before they make a purchase decision.
Evolving in-store payment preferences.
Our increasingly digitized society also means preferences for payments in physical stores are evolving. In fact, only 3 out of the 12 countries covered in this report have a population preferring cash.
Innovation introduces new habits.
Gen Z’ers preference for digital devices like smartphones and smartwatches means neither hard cash or physical cards have a natural place in their pockets anymore. And with smartwatches on the rise, and biometrics on the horizon, much is likely to change in this space in the near future.
are preferred over cash before the age of 41, and he most distinct generational differentiation is between physical cards and digital devices like smartphones and smartwatches.
Gen Z’ers are ten times more likely to prefer payment with digital devices, such as mobile phones and smartphones, compared to Baby Boomers, and are less than half as likely to prefer to pay with cash.
Contrasting payment preferences across countries.
The difference in payment preferences gets even clearer when the countries are placed next to each other in the index.
Cash and plastic cards
are popular payment methods in Switzerland, and the country is above average in preference for these forms of physical payments.
like smart watches and biometrics does not resonate with the Swiss, and the country has the lowest preference in an international comparison.
Cash in pocket.
How thick a shoppers’ wallet is varies across countries. The US stands out as the country with the highest amount of cash in shoppers’ wallets as opposed to Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway.
is the average amount of cash found in the wallets of Swiss shoppers. This puts Switzerland in the top 3 together with US and Austria, and the average Swiss wallet contains almost twice as much money as an average Swedish wallet.
Until alternative payment methods become universal, cash will still be relevant. And there will be a need to access funds before payment can be made.
of cash withdrawals per month is the average in Switzerland. Millennials (3,8) withdraw money the most often, and men (3) do it more often than women (2,3).
A year from now.
Over the past 2 decades, online shopping has pivoted from something for early adopters and enthusiasts into the preferred way to shop for people all over the world. Technological innovation will continue to marvel and excite, retailers will continue to improve their digital offering, and the digitalization of retail will continue to shape the future of shopping.
Predictions for the future.
There’s still a general belief that the majority of shopping will be done in physical stores in a year’s time—but preferences are quickly shifting.
This chart illustrates the share of shoppers believing they will make the majority of their shopping online or in physical stores respectively.
of shoppers in Switzerland believe they would shop mostly online a year from now.
1 in 2
Gen Zers (46%) believe the same, standing out as the generation thinking they would shop mostly online in the future.
And that’s that.
Thirsty for more knowledge?
Make sure to check out the other reports available at Klarna Insights.