Kenneth Melchior, Director of Northern Europe at Zalando has shared with GO! some future thinking. Founded in 2008 in Berlin, Zalando SE is Europe’s leading online fashion platform and connects customers, brands and partners. Right from the outset, Zalando has been reimagining the fashion market.

Kenneth highlighted three main points that make Zalando successful: 

1. The urge to do more by maximising opportunities. Zalando’s ambition is to achieve £20 billion turnover by 2023, which would still only equate to 10% of the overall fashion market.

2. Act quickly. Kenneth shared that during the pandemic it only took Zalando 24 hours to establish 3 main work streams to be able to have business leaders working internationally and to fully implement the crisis plan.

3. A community of knowledge. Zalando has grown to over 17,000 employees and prides themselves on employing people who disagree but then take ownership to execute the plan. It is in this way that people are empowered and become experts that learn and teach something new each day.

Zalando have never been afraid to take risks, the site offers free delivery and up to 100-day right of return, equating to a new set of standards in online service.

The Zalando strategy is to become the chief operating system for fashion. To achieve this the infrastructure must bring together a variety of players in the growing digital market for fashion – and therefore create a whole new ecosystem that connects customers, brands and partners.

This is all made possible thanks to their strong expertise in the fields of fashion, technology and convenience, which allows Zalando to offer their customers an unlimited range of convenient services designed to suit their requirements.

Zalando has developed cutting-edge digital capabilities and share these capabilities with brands through the Partner Services, where brands are able to connect with the Zalando solutions to bring together offline and online sales.

When discussing the future GO! can summarise two specific take-aways to highlight to the fashion and retail market.

 

Online 

Recent events have accelerated the growth from offline to online and this isn’t set to slow down any time soon. Zalando whilst already a major online player for fashion in Europe are maximising the opportunity by further developing their partners’ share.

The Partner Services represents a broad spectrum of services and products, such as Partner Program, Zalando Marketing Services (ZMS), Zalando Fulfilment Solutions (ZFS), and Connected Retail, all aimed at helping their partners overcome challenges in their digital value chain by leveraging the Zalando technology, marketing or convenience strengths. This connected retail programme allows physical stores to sell online and achieve international sales and scalability by utilising the Zalando platform. Currently this market is 20% of the Zalando share but 2021 plans are to increase to 40%.

In previous blogs GO! has featured other brands such as Joules Clothing that are focusing on online marketplaces to develop online sales communities.

 

Sustainability 

Sustainability is arguably taking up a higher proportion of people’s thoughts as the population reflect on the current climate but again this isn’t set to change soon. Sustainable search terms are up by 70% and ‘pre-owned’ sites such as Depop, eBay, Facebook marketplace and Vestiaire Collective to name but a few have seen dramatic spikes in traffic and sales.

Zalando are trialling a ‘pre-owned’ section to their own site where customers can sell back used items. This initiative is being launched in Germany and upon successful completion will be rolled out across Europe to meet the growing demand.

In a world that has slowed down fast fashion must change- please share your thoughts with GO!