Which country is the new e-commerce leader?

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In February, the new leader of the B2C E-commerce Index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was announced. Every year, several factors are measured to determine the country with the highest readiness to engage in e-commerce. 

Which country surpassed the Netherlands in 2020? 

In 2019 and 2018, Netherlands was the leader of the ranking. This year, Switzerland was announced as the country with the highest e-commerce potential. The top 10 countries in the ranking were: 

  1. Switzerland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Singapore
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Finland
  8. Ireland
  9. Norway
  10. Hong Kong

Which factors are taken into account in the E-commerce Index?

To choose the country with the highest e-commerce potential,  UNCTAD includes such factors as:

  • Share of individuals using the internet
  • Share of individuals with an account
  • Secure internet servers
  • UPU postal reliability score 

Based on that, it is easy to understand why Switzerland won first place: 

  • 97% of the Swiss population used the Internet in 2019
  • Switzerland has high banking coverage, ranking 11th in the world by the density of bank branches
  • In Switzerland, there are 4 national languages. Online shops which want to be available for all the customers adjust to that which improves the quality 
  • The country ranks 5th among the countries included in the index in secure server density, a proxy for online shops in the country
  • The postal reliability in Switzerland is ranked very high – it scored the 7th place in the global ranking

As UNCTAD summarizes: “In summary, high performance across all indicators, particularly delivery reliability, drives the high Swiss ranking and reflect robust underlying conditions for development of B2C e-commerce. In addition, Switzerland stands out for its wealth of e-commerce related statistics from the national statistical office, postal sector regulator and operator, and industry association.”

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