Marketplaces 2018: Zalando

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This post about Zalando is part of Tamebay’s January 2018 Marketplaces series sponsored by Flubit. To find a full list of marketplaces we’ve written about this month, visit our Marketplaces 2018 page here.

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Marketplace Overview

Zalando is a massive retail phenomenon in Europe. It’s particularly prominent in Germany, where they boast 95% brand recognition amongst adult shoppers but it has also been expanding into other countries too in recent years and opened fulfilment centres in Sweden and Belgium in 2017. It’s also gaining in popularity in the UK and elsewhere. They operate in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the UK.

The latest figures to hand say that they have 20 million active buyers and a 7.4% share of the Western Europe fashion market that totals $42bn. Co-founder Rubin Ritter said last year: “Our main priority is still a profitable growth. We will continue to strive for a larger market share and more European customers. We will also continue to invest in customer experience, technology and logistics.”

One distinctive aspect of Zalando is personalisation. They use their knowledge of previous purchases to recommend and curate selections to promote and entice shoppers to return and buy more. Zalando considers customer satisfaction as a critical aspect to their business success and that’s why they promote, and are proud of, their mantra: “Free Shipping! Free Returns!” They claim that under their Partner Program 2500 stores operated by 200 brands are currently live on the site.

Seller registration and requirements

Sellers must have a registered office in Germany and must also offer free shipping and a 100-day free returns guarantee. You’ll also need your own website store to demonstrate your credentials.

If you want to apply to sell on Zalando, then email [email protected] to introduce your company.

Product listings and fulfilment

As noted before you need to offer free shipping and returns. Shipping via Hermes is required. Tracking is advised and you’ll need to offer high quality photography in the Zalando house style to fit in with the site and gain prominence.

Needless to say, with such a big player, Zalando is integrated with multichannel ecommerce providers (including ChannelAdvisor) so that’s probably the best way to make your inventory available to shoppers.

Tamebay’s take on Zalando

Zalando is a massive player in Europe, especially Germany, when it comes to fashion and accessories. And they are approaching the challenge by being different from Amazon. Their elegant and curated fashion sites are price sensitive but they don’t aim for low low pricing as standard. So if you have great products to sell, you can also command good prices, especially if you have something that Zalando itself doesn’t sell.

If you have a SKU that they sell themselves, you’re competing with them and they will give their own goods prominence, even if you’re cheaper. So originality and exclusivity is a good way of getting cut through and making sales.

If you have you any experience selling on Zalando, please do share your insights.

For more information about marketplaces check out the Tamebay Guide.


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