General Online Shopping Trends 2021


Shopping from your sofa and outside opening hours is currently very popular.

Between 2008 and 2021, online shopping sales in Switzerland tripled – from about CHF 5 billion to CHF 15 billion per year, with turnover increasing particularly strongly over the last two years. Sales in 2019 reached a good CHF 10 billion, but two years later they were 50% higher, breaking the CHF 15 billion mark.


Online shopping has increased significantly in recent years. In the last two years in particular, a digital buying frenzy has developed, benefiting from the pandemic. Sales have gone up sharply and in 2021 e-commerce sales in Switzerland exceeded CHF 15 billion for the first time. Supply and demand has grown significantly on the online marketplaces, Ricardo and, particularly over the last two years. The Swiss online marketplace Ricardo, for example, had two consecutive record-breaking years. After the number of new registrations and transactions increased by 30% in 2020, Ricardo was able to build on its strong position in 2021 and achieve further growth of about 8%. Last year, 7 million transactions were completed on Ricardo. The situation is similar for the online marketplace saw four consecutive record-breaking days in 2020 – with up to a 30% increase in visitor numbers on the previous year. In 2021, the platform continued to grow and is currently recording more than 19 million website visits per month.

The recently published study shows that purchasing behaviour differs depending on whether the goods are new or second hand. When it comes to new items, clothing is the most popular category, whereas it ranks only sixth for second-hand items. People in Switzerland most often buy second-hand furniture and furnishings or hobby and leisure items online.

  • The Swiss most frequently order and purchase items online from the clothing category, followed by electronic goods and telecommunications, computers/accessories/games/software and hobby and leisure items. More than two-thirds of respondents said that they regularly or occasionally make purchases from these categories.
  • Over half of respondents also said that they regularly buy shoes or household goods and appliances online.
  • People in Switzerland are somewhat more reserved when it comes to jewellery and watches – only one in four said that they regularly or occasionally buy such items online.

There has been almost no change in purchasing habits compared with last year: the survey results are almost identical in this area with no significant differences.

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