After Valentine's Day and Halloween, Black Friday – the shopping day that follows Thanksgiving – is the latest American holiday to have been adopted in Switzerland.
The Blick newspaper reported that many online shops had begun cutting prices at midnight, and traffic was so heavy that some websites could not cope with demand.
“Shortly after midnight there were so many people visiting our websites that they were overloaded,” a spokesman for the home electronics firm Digitec/Galaxus told the paper.
Demand was greatest between midnight and 2am, he said.
Interdiscount, the electronics branch of retailer Coop, also experienced outages, according to Blick readers.
In-store shoppers too were snapping up reduced price goods. The paper said that some shops had extended their opening hours to make the most of the day.
The St Gallen shopping arena and the Letzipark Zurich would remain open until 10pm while the Seedamm centre in Pfäffikon, Schwyz would not close until 11pm, it said.
Some shops did not even wait until Friday to offer discounts. The electronics firm Mediamarkt in Bern began its sale on Thursday, according to the newspaper 20 Minuten.
Dyson vacuum cleaners and mobile phones were in greatest demand, a spokesperson said.
Other popular items among bargain-hunters were watches, clothing and cosmetics.
According to the Tages-Anzeiger, Manor was the first department store to cash in on the American tradition, introducing Black Friday in 2015.