Monitor: Platform Economic in Switzerland

St. Gallen, November 02, 2018 – The Institute of Marketing has conducted a comparative study on the status of digital platforms in Switzerland as part of the “Digital Marketing & Sales Channel Monitor”. The results illustrate the influence international platforms such as Airbnb and Zalando have on customer access in Switzerland. However, the study also reveals that Swiss platforms are quite successful against international competition.

The study examines 67 platforms operating in Switzerland and identifies the structures and trends that shape this growing market.

The most important findings at a glance:

  • The most important companies, in whose industry no platform has yet been established, should be aware early on that the classic “make or buy” question will only turn out to be in favor of building a platform themselves in the very medium term. The data indicate that as soon as a platform is established in a market, for many providers only the buy alternative can be a real option.
  • 17% of the analyzed marketplaces were initiated by Start Ups. However, it is striking that more than 46% are established and financed by existing companies in their own industry. So there is hope for the so-called “Incumbants”.
  • It is essential for companies that are confident in building their own platform to have identified a “sweet spot”. “Sweet spots” are starting points in an existing industry to develop a unique and relevant customer benefit through a superior customer understanding or a new cross-industry perspective.
  • Over 51% of the platforms examined have stringent rules and control over their suppliers. As soon as partnerships are established with such platforms, suppliers run the risk of losing proximity to their customers.
  • The Swiss platform economy is essentially determined by four different clusters. These clusters were mainly characterized by technological innovations in their respective year of foundation.

The study documentation, which was conducted in cooperation with the Accarda Group of Companies, can be downloaded online. The study on the Swiss platform economy is already the fifth edition of the “Digital Marketing & Sales Channel Monitor” of the University of St.Gallen, following studies on topics such as block-chain in marketing and the online presence of Swiss retailers. Beyond that, the Institute of Marketing has long been conducting intensive research and teaching on the use and integration of digital marketing and sales channels. With regular publications, study trips, practical projects and further education programs, the researchers not only want to scientifically document the digital transformation, but also actively support it.

Institute of Marketing at the University of St.Gallen

Since its foundation in 1967, the Institute for Marketing at the University of St.Gallen has been shaping research, but also consulting and further education in marketing and sales. The research of the institute aims at the analysis and solution of current as well as relevant marketing challenges and takes place always in close exchange with enterprise partners. Another important pillar of the institute is executive education with a wide range of further education offers in marketing, communication and sales management.


Accarda is a specialist for payment solutions and customer loyalty in retail and is the Swiss leader in the field of customer cards with payment functions. In addition to customer cards, Accarda offers purchase on account, gift cards and bonus programs. These competencies are complemented by expertise in customer relationship management and are bundled in a customer-specific manner to create sustainable sales growth solutions.

Contact for questions and pictures:

Institute for Marketing and Customer Insight at the University of St.Gallen,
Phone: +41 71 224 2855 | E-Mail:

Porträt Prof. Dr. Marcus Schögel
Prof. Dr. Marcus Schögel
Associate Professor