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Focus Group

Focus Group



Focus group 1The goal of Netcomm Suisse is to formulate market and policy proposals including action points for policy makers, online merchants and industry suppliers with the aim of stimulating Swiss and cross-border e-commerce. Once a clear set of proposals has been established, Netcomm Suisse will be in a position to push for these proposals to be accepted, through its industry leadership and position of trust among stakeholders as well as through lobbying and a focus on regulatory affairs which it hopes will in turn lead towards the expansion of e-commerce activity.

“While there are some excellent trends coming from Switzerland, especially as regards quality of purchases and the overall perception of Swiss products by consumers across the EU, there also remains a lot of work to be done,” said Carlo Terreni, General Director at Netcomm Suisse.
“Some of this work implies greater efforts within the industry to really get to grips with digital and, nowadays, especially omnichannel, but a lot of the impetus is on governments and regulators to bring down the barriers to greater adoption of the technology. And to do this, there needs to be a consistent voice from the industry and a trusted point of reference, such as Netcomm Suisse, who can take the conversation further and lead the way on unlocking the huge potential that Switzerland has.”

What we are going to investigate together during the focus group

Focus group 2Give your opinion about the main impediments of the e-commerce development and the role of regulations in e-commerce. Share your concerns and your vision with some of your peers. You may find new ideas and get more aware of the challenges thanks to this sharing and learning experience.
Participating to this focus group and learning about e-commerce impediments and regulations could be helpful in your day-to-day practice and in the development of your strategy. Participate to keep up with changes in the field of e-commerce and contribute to create a better environment for the whole community!
e-Commerce issues will be addressed through questions such as: 1) Are there any unnecessary and burdensome regulations you need to deal with? 2) What problems are you facing when it gets to cross-border e-commerce in connection with logistics & deliveries? 3) Which problems are you facing in terms of custom duties, taxation and VAT issues? 4) What problems do you encounter when looking for skilled personnel in this sector? 5) Are you facing data protection, security or privacy issues you don’t manage to deal with? 6) Are you experiencing any issue with online payments?

Location and timing

The focus group will take place on November 24th, starting at 14:00, at the Trafo Hotel in Baden. Eight to twelve people will participate to the focus group. In order to make you feel comfortable, we will be careful to choose people from different sectors. So we will avoid having competing actors discussing business matters around the table. Discussion content will be anonymized in the analysis and reporting processes.

This focus group will be organized and conducted in close partnership with HEG Fribourg (School of Management Fribourg). It will be driven by two instructors specialized in marketing research, Magali Dubosson and Andrea Rohrer.

Logo NetComm Suisse

Applications are now open for e-commerce managers and merchants who would like to take part to this focus group. To participate please apply by clicking on the button below. After receiving your application, NetComm Suisse and HEG Fribourg will review it and give you a confirmation concerning your participation.

Netcomm Suisse is asking the big questions about today’s e-commerce environment in Switzerland at a focus group session with industry leaders to determine the future of e-commerce. The dialogue will take place just before the Swiss e-commerce conference in Baden in November 2015.

On the one hand, e-commerce in Switzerland has never been in greater health, with a market valued at 9bn CHF and projected to keep growing over the next year, plus words such as digital transformation and omnichannel approach on industry leaders’ lips. However, the surge of a few companies with success stories to tell masks an uneven growth across the wider marketplace with plenty of room for improvement: for instance there are estimated to be around 30m online shoppers in Europe who are attracted by the Swiss offer, yet do not shop here, while on the other hand, home-grown e-shoppers in Switzerland make 30% of their total purchases abroad – a relatively large figure by comparison with online consumers in other EU countries and a sure sign that something needs to be addressed.

The positive news is that the gaps in this area represent what could be the real paradigm shift for the growth of e-commerce in Switzerland. Even if just a small percentage of merchants wishing to embark on the e-commerce journey could be enabled it would signify and more functional market, more powerful and wider consumer engagement and above all a more commanding position for the Swiss factor in e-commerce, with consequent revenue growth across the spectrum. With this firmly in mind, Netcomm Suisse has set out on a mission to help the industry unlock its full potential. That means shaping the very future of e-commerce, applying the know-how gained from recent experience to standard practices, identifying the inherent challenges for Switzerland in particular and applying the smartest strategies to overcome these difficulties.

Grafico Swiss e-commerce factorSwitzerland should be the perfect hub for e-commerce with an impressive 95% of 16-65 year olds being regular internet users, 85% percent of whom are online shoppers. This is great news for businesses wishing to develop e-commerce, and forecasts suggest sales of products from Switzerland and indeed the number of operators, are set to keep rising – making it a natural international sector leader. Especially in high-end goods, Swiss is almost a synonym for high-quality products and brands tend to ensure that their service matches this high quality, from the moment customers view products online to the minute they receive them.

The international development of Swiss e-commerce does however come with its challenges and many brands, both large and small, have yet to realize their full potential. This may be brought about by the complications of cross-border trading and the complexity of different national tax systems, or else it may be down to a lack of skills in the workforce or a lack of trusted providers. More specifically in Switzerland, there have been customs and tax issues relating to high-value items which subsequently lead to longer delivery times, and customers may run the risk of incurring unknown duty costs. However, without a full view over the market the real source of e-commerce merchants’ pain risks going unvoiced and unresolved.

Netcomm Suisse is Switzerland’s leading association for the advancement and development in all aspects of e-commerce. In order to achieve its goals of increased e-commerce within Switzerland and across borders, it is fundamental to gain a true understanding of all factors which might be holding back the wider development of e-commerce and what can be done, even at the regulatory and fiscal levels, to bridge the gaps.

In close collaboration with HEG Fribourg (the School of Management of Fribourg), Netcomm Suisse will be hosting a round table focus group on November 24th in Baden, just before the Swiss e-commerce conference opens its doors the following day. The main topic of this focus group will be discussing the biggest challenges e-commerce faces and what can be done to address these difficulties. This will include discussing the regulatory burden and fiscal matters, such as trade tariffs, high import duties and trade agreements but also wider concerns, for instance the EU’s professed aim of getting the greatest advantages and benefits from e-commerce, and how best practices can stimulate trust in cross-border transactions. In addition to this, the focus group will certainly want to look at operational factors, for instance the HR situation; whether there are enough skilled staff available to meet business aims.

Involved in this focus group will be some of the industry’s leading players from different sectors so as to create a fair and balanced environment in which to share views. The focus group will be led by two moderators from the HEG Fribourg: Magali Dubosson Torbay, Professor of marketing and Andrea Rohrer, head of Latin American projects. HEG Fribourg has grown through adapting to constantly evolving economic realities and market demand, and its strategy is focused on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management. The scope and quality of its programs and the involvement and expertise of its teaching staff are attracting more and more students every year. It is considered a forerunner in Switzerland for training, interdisciplinary research and entrepreneurship.

Since its foundation in 1991, HEG Fribourg (the School of Management Fribourg) has experienced continual growth by adapting to economic realities and market demand. The scope and quality of its programs and the involvement and expertise of its teaching staff are attracting more and more students every year. It is part of the Hes-so (University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland) network. With almost 19,000 students, Hes-so is Switzerland’s leading university.

The strategy of HEG Fribourg is focused on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management. In particular, its innovative strength is demonstrated by its projects targeting current issues. It is considered as a forerunner in Switzerland for training, interdisciplinary research and entrepreneurship. Its research institutes have taken on a large number of mandates and conducted various applied research projects, thereby positioning it as a solid partner to SMEs, large corporations and not-for-profit organizations, in Switzerland and abroad. Its mission is to combine theory and practice.
It is located in a bilingual canton at the crossroads of the French-speaking and German-speaking regions. HEG Fribourg is the only business school in Switzerland to offer trilingual programs (French, German and English).

Foto MagaliMagali Dubosson Torbay is a Professor of marketing at Heg Fribourg (School of Management of Fribourg) and Lecturer at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). She was formerly the Managing Director of Heg Geneva for more than 5 years. She was also formely Lecturer at Essec Management Education (Paris), Assistant Professor at Thunderbird University (Europe) and Senior Lecturer at HEC Lausanne (University of Lausanne). She has a Ph.D. in Economics and an Executive Master in International Management from HEC Lausanne (University of Lausanne). She has also a professional experience as a management consultant, as well as in various service companies. Her research interests are in the field of service innovation and the design process of new products, in business models, in the use of TIC in marketing.








Foto Andrea RohrerAndrea Rohrer, is in charge of the Latin American projects at HEG Fribourg (School of Management of Fribourg). She is native from Mexico City where she acquired her Bachelor degree in Marketing at UDEC University (Universidad de la Comunicación). She holds professional experience in private sector as Category Manager, Brand coordinator, Market development, customer service and Market research in diverse industries and countries as Mexico, Spain and Switzerland. She has a Master of Science in Business Administration at School of Management Fribourg. She has particular interest in international management, marketing innovation, entry strategies into emerging markets, design and development of new products, and internationalization.