Swiss Amazon shoppers to be able to get free delivery from other countries

Shoppers from Switzerland will be able to get free delivery on orders over €49 when they buy from Amazon’s French, German, or Italian portals. With the Swiss Amazon site offering fewer items, Swiss shoppers already purchase from neighbouring country portals in large numbers, and it seems Amazon is responding to existing demand.

The Swiss e-commerce industry is small and apparently limited in reach. Without much competition the Alpine country’s e-tailers often charge high delivery fees and commentators have complained at the difficulty Swiss citizens have in buying from online companies.

The Swiss e-commerce association NetComm Suisse welcomed the plans. The General Director Carlo Terreni said, “Now, Amazon’s move, as well as raising the bar in terms of competitiveness, will undoubtedly push Swiss e-Commerce operators and the entire supply chain to further improve their offer and support services.”

Giant businesses can both help competition and drive small businesses to destruction if over aggressive, as has been seen with supermarkets opening outlets in small UK communities. However, Switzerland is bordered by neighbours that have similar languages and cultures, with large Italian, German and French communities that identify themselves as Swiss.

The small alpine nation, which is outside the EU but surrounded by EU nations, may well benefit significantly from Amazon’s presence and this in turn should boost online commerce in the country as more products become available to Swiss customers for much reduced delivery costs. Increased competition from Amazon may well derail the attitude that Switzerland is a ‘captive market’ as a result. Terreni suggested, “It is worth noting that already 64% of Swiss online shoppers regularly buy from foreign websites, because in 72% of cases, they find products which are cheaper compared to those available on Swiss websites.” It will be interesting to see whether Amazon’s offer damages or promotes e-commerce in Switzerland.