Zalando trial same-day delivery with adidas as a test case

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Zalando today announced the trial of the same-day delivery with the German sportswear brand adidas as a guinea pig in their efforts to test the waters of the accelerated fulfilment method ahead of the wider rollout.

The move marks a wider adoption of the Amazon-first, one-day delivery service, creating a ripple effect in the industry to deliver instant gratification to customers waiting for their deliveries.

Zalando are evidently no strangers of delighting their customers with fast last-mile service as they aim to “provide brand partners with additional and easier ways to connect to the Zalando platform.”

“The test is an important step within our platform strategy. We are very happy that we are once more joining forces with our long-term partner, adidas, to test an exciting approach where we create synergies for the benefit of our customers. adidas customers benefit from faster delivery, and Zalando customers benefit because the pilot allows us to extend Zalando’s same-day delivery areas.”
– Jan Bartels, senior vice president, customer fulfilment.

Zalando are currently testing the waters of the accelerated delivery method in a debut pilot which sees goods delivered to adidas customers in Paris within the same day, or next day. This sees customer receiving their orders faster, within a two-hour delivery window on the same or the following evening, all with the usual look and feel. Despite the parcels being packed in a Zalando logistics centre, they come in an unbranded shipping box.

The partnership aims to address developments in the ecommerce, with disruptors setting the customer experience bar even higher to ‘surprise and delight’ shoppers – making the same-delivery option a luxury for both customers and sellers – as adoption costs put financial pressures for businesses and customers to absorb.

However, the picture is quite different for marketplace sellers. Brands that want to reach consumers in overseas territories are able to test run the attractiveness of their product offering via marketplaces without having to fully integrate themselves into new territories. This means having their stock allocated in different distribution centres within a marketplace’s logistics network so that it can be pushed out once a customer presses buy button.

“As a sports company, we know that speed wins. Today our target group, the Creators, live in a constantly changing world, which shapes their behaviour and expectations. This is where the pilot comes in, where adidas customers in the strategically important city of Paris benefit from faster delivery. The pilot project shows what distinguishes our long-standing and successful partnership. adidas and Zalando share a passion for experimentation and innovation. This gives us the opportunity to try new things continuously. We are excited to see how our customers take up this offer.”
– Alexandra Morton, senior vice president supply chain management, Europe at adidas.

This future-centric vision fits in with Zalando plan to complement their Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS) with multi-channel solutions. As of today, more than 100 brand partners in the partner program use ZFS, and store parts of their assortment in Zalando-owned warehouses. Zalando take over the distribution to customers in currently 14 European markets.

“In Paris, we are testing with a non-ZFS partner, but we are piloting an important component of our future ZFS offering. We see a great deal of potential to test the multi-channel approach with brands that already store parts of their assortment with us. By opening up Zalando’s strong European logistics network to our partners, they profit from our logistics expertise, and together we work more efficiently.”
– Jan Bartels, senior vice president, customer fulfilment.

The test will initially run for 6-12 months, after which both partners will evaluate the results. Zalando say the start of the pilot was successful: the first adidas customer in Paris received their package on the 2nd of August at 7.49 pm – a pair of adidas Originals Superstars.


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