Berlin based online retailer Zalando vehemently tries to become the largest and most relevant marketplace for fashion by creating more personal solutions. This was one of the main messages which were offered on the company’s press day for international journalists held in Berlin. All divisions of the company, such as fashion, technology and operations (logistics), are focused on creating an individual shopping experience for every single customer, being as personal and straightforward as possible. In order to achieve this aim, Zalando is ready to strike new paths.

Regarding the product portfolio, Zalando now offers the possibility to stationary fashion retailers to show their products by so called partner programs. “We want to integrate stationary shops into the Zalando system”, says Country Manager Germany Moritz Hau. Retail shops can create an individual presentation on the Zalando website, the sales are then processed by the retailers themselves; Zalando solely acts as a marketplace and receives a commission. With several suppliers, such as Tom Tailor, respective programs are already in operation.

Kasia Laczak, Zalando trendscout: "Jeans are our biggest category, followed by sneakers"
Kasia Laczak, Zalando trendscout: "Jeans are our biggest category, followed by sneakers"
What about logistics? Zalando aims at not only making sales as straightforward as possible but also the return shipments. Thus, the company currently tests services in Amsterdam and Cologne: the returns are collected at the customers’ homes without extra charge. Further, they are also testing the possibility for customers to collect ordered products in stationary fashion shops. “Our aim is not to contact the customer via one single way, but via all different kind of ways, out of which the customer can individually select the one which meets his/her current needs in the best way“, says Christoph Stark from Zalando operations.

Since 2014 Zalando is in the profit zone and in 2015 the company’s turnover jumped to about €3 billion (plus 34% compared to the year before). Zalando operates in 15 European countries and runs three logistics centers in Germany, two more, in Lahr and Stradella (northern Italy), will follow. Zalando’s product portfolio comprises 1500 international labels, including 16 private labels. During the business year 2015, 17.9 million users made an average of 3.1 orders on the Zalando website, which is accessed by 138 million visitors monthly; more and more customer visits are made via smartphones (currently 60%). The market share of the online retailer is currently 1%. The Berlin company aims at achieving a share of 5% in the future.