Amazon is such a massive distraction for UK retailers that they often forget that there are plenty of countries where Amazon is weak or even not present. In the current Brexit crisis that is clearly creating stasis, smart retailers are redoubling their efforts to grow their businesses abroad.
In Europe, the stand-out opportunity for those not ready to consider opening stores is to link their warehouse directly to Zalando and start selling on line to Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, although this 5.4 billion Euro company with 15,500 employees, 300m visits per month and 27m active customers sells in 17 countries now.
At eTail Europe on June 19, Sara Diez, VP of Womenswear, said, “We want to be the starting point for fashion purchases in the same way as Netflix is for entertainment. Those that have the Zalando app look at more product. 48% of orders contain more than one brand. On average our customers show 13 brands per year.”
It’s a two way deal; retailers give up margin in the same way as it would on any marketplace, but Zalando provides an impressive array of support services so that the retailer can trade almost immediately once they have their stock connected.
More than a marketplace
Some of these services are quite advanced. “Zalando knows me and shapes me better.” It has a department dedicated to fitting so as to reduce returns. Detailed information is held on how a garment fits. It uses technology to match the right product to customer preferences.
The company now offers Zalando Lounge for discounted designer brands, Zalando Marketing Services, and Zalando Fulfilment Solutions – consumers receive one package rather than different packages from different brands on the site.