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Market research in Switzerland: the 10 best data sources

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In the following article, we provide you with our TOP 10 data sources to consult if you wish to carry out your market research in Switzerland. This directory, based on our 15 years of experience in conducting market research in many countries, will enable you to find out about the Swiss market and the opportunities to be seized in this territory.

checklist is also provided at the end of this article.

Summary

Official national statistics

Statistics are essential data to be taken into account in market research. These national and official figures will give weight to your research and your applications and funding requests. Each country has an official institute that offers the highest level of quality. In Switzerland, you will have to turn to the Federal Statistical Office BFS for these data. In the “Find statistics” tab, you will find numerous files and statistics on demographic, economic, sectoral, social, cultural and legal topics.

How do you use this data for your market research?

  • Define a geographical location (catchment area) based on regional demographics and economy
  • Understanding consumer purchasing behaviour
  • Defining competitors in the market
  • Understanding some key legislative restrictions

This data will be particularly useful if you need to carry out PESTEL research (to find out more about PESTEL, click here).

Financial data of companies

In Switzerland, websites such as Moneyhouse offer flat-rate access to corporate financial data. It will be necessary for you, but also for your investors and partners to understand the profitability of your project. This also involves carrying out a competition research study, which must include an analysis of the financial results of the companies in question.

The official information of the companies is available on the BFS website under the heading “Register of companies and establishments“. Please also make sure that you are informed about Swiss legislation and the financial markets. You can find this information on the website of FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

As mentioned earlier, this financial analysis will help you investigate the situation of your competitors. Its advantages do not stop there, as it will also help you understand the position of your suppliers and partners. This can be an excellent indicator to judge the health (and attractiveness) of a market.

For companies working in B2B, this tool will also be a great ally in defining the target and in building your prospect list.

Consumer protection

In Switzerland, the FRC, the alliance of consumer organisations, represents consumers in many product, service and sector-specific areas. In the “Surveys” tab, you will find numerous comparisons and analyses of products and sectors dedicated to consumers.

This data will help you to understand in detail the offers of your competitors and enable you to refine your value proposition accordingly. You will also use this information on consumer trends to test and understand the attractiveness of your product or service in the Swiss market. Remember that the first idea is rarely the right one. Don’t be discouraged if you perceive a lack of alignment with market demand. Consider this as an opportunity to improve your primary idea.

Customs and border protection

If you wish to import products or services into Switzerland or export them outside the Swiss borders, it is essential to find out about the legislation imposed by customs. The government website of the EZV, the Federal Customs Administration, will be of great help in this respect. You will find a lot of useful information for your market research in Switzerland in the tab “Information companies” as well as in the tab “Customs declaration“.

You will find additional information on the Ch.ch website in the Swiss Customs section, which details various topics that are essential if you wish to import into or export from Switzerland.

The customs sites are an excellent source of data for your PESTEL research, particularly for the “L” (legal aspects).

We have dedicated an article to market research applied to the export sector. You can access it here.

Sector data for your market research in France

To carry out your market research as comprehensively as possible, you will also need to look at data relating to your (future) sector of activity. Below you will find an overview of the best sources of industry data.

Health

Numerous data relating to Swiss public health are available on the official government site of the FOPH, the Federal Office of Public Health, which publishes dossiers on topics relating to health, nutrition, medicine and insurance, as well as to the regulations, laws and authorisations of the sector.
The “Figures & statistics” section offers reports on various health topics such as addiction, accidents, diseases, professions, and so forth.
The Swiss Medic website, managed by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, is also an essential source of information for the Swiss health sector.

The food industry

The Federal Office of Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (BLV) is the first place to go for information on the Swiss food industry. Here you will find dossiers on food, imports and exports, as well as current legislation. You will see the Swiss Nutrition Newsletter here. It contains trend analyses of foodstuffs as well as Swiss nutritional habits.
Specific information on school health is available on the Education and Health website. Those involved in the wine industry should visit the Swiss Wine website to understand the Swiss market.

Agriculture

Volumes des ventes d'oeufs crus bio et non-bios sur la période de mars à juin (année 2018, 2019, 2020)

For Switzerland, the preliminary information you will need as a player in the agricultural market can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG).
In particular, the FOAG offers you numerous files on the Swiss agricultural market, divided into segments. Additional information on the food industry is also available, such as the organic market newsletter.
Also, it is worth visiting the website of the Federal Office of Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs to supplement the information on the previous sites. This will give you a broader and more detailed knowledge of the sector.


Housing

The government reference for the Swiss housing market is the OFL (Federal Housing Office), which details on its website the legislation governing this sector as well as market conditions and trends.
Numerous essential documents can be downloaded from the OFL website in the various areas mentioned above.

Extract from the dossier : Overview of the housing market published in August 2020 by the OFL.

Specific information on the public housing market is available on the Swiss Housing Policy website.

Energy

The website of the FOE, the Federal Office of Energy, offers a variety of dossiers on energy policy, supply, subsidies and research in Switzerland.
The BFE website provides details on the Swiss energy strategy for 2050.

Innovation

The website of the Swiss Agency for the promotion of innovation, Innosuisse, details the offers, subsidies and start-up aid available in Switzerland. In particular, Innosuisse offers coaching and training for start-ups as well as workshops on internationalisation.

Checklist

Topic Data source Added-value for your market research in France
Nationals statistics BFS Official figures to contribute to your PESTEL study
Financial data

Moneyhouse

BFS

FINMA

Competition research, profitability of the sector
Consumer protection FRC Market analysis, sector analysis
Customs and border protection

EZV

Ch.ch

Legal aspects of the PESTEL analysis
Sector data – Health

FOPH

Swiss Medic

Files on health issues and medicines
Sector data – The food industry

BLV

education and health

Swiss Wine

Indicators on the food industry market and legal aspects
Sector data – Agriculture

OFAG

BLV

Agricultural legislation, agreements and policies
Sector data – Accommodation

OFL

Swiss housing policy

Housing market and related issues
Sector data – Energy FOE Energy indicators and legislation
Sector data – Innovation Innosuisse Aid for innovation

Also worth consulting

Illustrations: Shutterstock

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