Our best-selling products of 2023
Behind the scenes

Our best-selling products of 2023

Translation: Katherine Martin

2023 saw batteries top Digitec and Galaxus’s bestseller list for the second year running. A glance lower down the sales rankings reveals a number of consumer trends, one being that more and more people are buying vapes and non-perishable food online. Prepper gadgets such as power generators or water filters, on the other hand, are yesterday’s news.

Last year, some very familiar products dominated the bestseller lists at online shops Digitec and Galaxus, with electronics and accessories taking up most of the top 10 rankings. In 2023, single-use and rechargeable batteries, USB cables, ink cartridges and headphones were the items most likely to go from shopping cart to delivery truck. Meanwhile, diapers also became a firm favourite amongst our customers.

Both ink cartridges and toner have slipped down the rankings in the last two years, possibly because workers have increasingly returned to the office since the end of the pandemic. Light bulbs scored a place in the top 10 for the first time. Meanwhile, Lego sets took 10th place after spending a year outside of the top rankings.

A cloud of vape smoke descends

Further down the sales rankings, there were some major shifts. A societal trend reflected in the figures is the increasing popularity of vaping – the use of electronic cigarettes, advertised as an alternative to conventional tobacco. Last year, vapes and vape liquid shot up more than 500 places in the list of over 2,500 product groups available from Galaxus. Galaxus sold almost three times as many vapes in 2023 as in the previous year, despite the health risks of e-cigarettes. Another of last year’s up-and-comers were so-called headshop products, with cigarette filters, papers and hemp grinders proving especially popular.

Besides smoking paraphernalia, Galaxus also recorded an increase in sales of non-perishable foods, including instant coffee, flour and pasta. The expansion of our product range has played an even greater part in this: «As we’ve expanded our range, we can now offer far more products from our own warehouse,» says Manuel Odermatt, one of the people responsible for non-perishables at Galaxus. «In addition to products offered by major, well-known brands, we also sell products you could only get offline in specialist stores.» Manuel goes on to mention special pizza flour produced in Naples as an example.

In 2023, Galaxus sold over 70 per cent more food products than in 2022. Manuel expects this strong growth to continue in 2024, again spurred on by product range expansion. «We still don’t have everything in our range that we’d like – far from it.»

CBD oil on the out, prepper fad blows over

2023 also saw some previous top sellers slip down the rankings. The prime example? Face coverings. Since the end of the pandemic, the demand for masks and matching accessories such as filters has plummeted.

CBD oil experienced the third largest drop in sales, as Galaxus stopped stocking the product in Switzerland in spring 2023. This followed the Swiss authorities’ decision to force manufacturers to add a foul-tasting denaturant to CBD oils so they wouldn’t be ingested «by mistake». Denatured oils, however, aren’t particularly appealing to Galaxus customers. The legal debate centres around whether CBD oils are suitable for ingestion; the authorities fear using the oils could be harmful to health. Galaxus continues to offer a range of CBD products, including CBD flowers, vape pens, face creams and muscle ointments.

The bestseller list’s biggest losers, however, are the products that sold like hot cakes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – electricity generators, power stations, camping lamps, water filters and solar panels. Many Galaxus customers stocked up on these in the wake of the energy price shock and concerns over power shortages. The demand has since been met or fizzled out in many places.

Champagne, prosecco and pellets for wood pellet grills also lost ground in 2023. This time, the decline in sales was supply-driven; Galaxus stopped stocking wood pellets on account of their large, heavy sacks taking up considerable storage space. In addition, they’re expensive to handle and ship. As for sparkling wine, Galaxus lost a major marketplace merchant last year. With our range of fizzes subsequently decreasing in size, it might be slightly harder to get your hands on your favourite parellada cava.

Which consumer trend did you follow in 2023? Which products will you be hyping up in 2024? Let us know in the comments!

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Alex Hämmerli
Senior Public Relations Manager

At Digitec and Galaxus, I’m in charge of communication with journalists and bloggers. Good stories are my passion – I am always up to date.

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