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Aspect Key Points
Overview Berlin-based online fashion retailer, founded in 2008, with €10 billion revenue in 2022.
Target Audience Fashion-conscious audience aged 18-34.
Geographic Reach Operates in 25 European countries.
Product Range Offers affordable to luxury items from brands like Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as smaller brands.
Customer Service Free shipping and returns, contributing to high sales conversion rates.
Partnership Options Connected Retail, Partner Program, Wholesale.
Partner Program Benefits Access to Zalando’s audience, marketing support, Zalando Fulfillment Solutions, Zalando Marketing Services.
Commission Fees Range from 7% to 25%, depending on product category and price range.

About Zalando.

Zalando, a Berlin-based online fashion retailer founded in 2008, has quickly become a leading platform for fashion and lifestyle products in Europe. With a revenue of €10 billion in 2022, Zalando caters to a young, fashion-conscious audience aged 18-34, offering products ranging from affordable to luxury items.

Originally serving Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Zalando now operates in 25 European countries, hosting big-name brands like Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. The platform also supports smaller brands like Vagabond Shoemakers and Ganni, which have experienced significant growth by leveraging Zalando’s customer reach.7

Zalando’s excellent customer service, including free shipping and returns, has contributed to its high sales conversion rates. This, combined with the platform’s rapid growth and extensive customer base, makes Zalando an attractive option for sellers looking to expand their reach and boost sales in the online fashion retail space.

Zalando presents an amazing opportunity for growing fashion brands seeking to tap into a wider audience and elevate their online presence. By joining this thriving platform, emerging brands can benefit from exposure to millions of potential customers and establish themselves alongside well-known names in the industry.

What are your Zalando partnership options?

Connected Retail: This solution integrates brick-and-mortar stores’ inventory with Zalando’s platform, increasing online visibility and bridging the gap between online and offline shopping.
Partner Program: Brands sell products directly to consumers via Zalando’s platform while maintaining control over their assortment, pricing, and marketing. This option helps brands expand their online presence and reach new customers.
Wholesale: Brands sell products to Zalando at wholesale prices, and Zalando handles inventory management, pricing, and marketing. This option is ideal for brands seeking to offload operational aspects of online retail.
Each partnership option caters to different needs and objectives, allowing brands to choose the best fit for their goals in the fashion marketplace.

What is the Partner Program?

The Zalando Partner Program is the most popular way for brands to collaborate with Zalando, offering an effective and flexible solution to boost their online presence in the competitive fashion market. This program empowers brands to sell their products directly to consumers through Zalando’s platform while maintaining control over their assortment, pricing, and marketing strategies. The program also provides access to Zalando’s advanced logistics and payment infrastructure, ensuring a seamless and secure shopping experience for customers.

What are the Zalando Partner Program Fees?

The Zalando Partner Program charges commission fees that range from 7% to 25%, depending on the product category and price range. These fees cover the costs associated with leveraging Zalando’s platform, ensuring a smooth and efficient selling experience for partner brands.
For example, in the Textile – Men & Unisex category, the commission structure is as follows:

  • For items priced between 0-19.99 EUR, the commission fee is 9%.
  • For items priced between 20-49.99 EUR, the commission fee is 19%.

These commission rates may vary based on the specific product category, price range, and other factors. It is essential for brands considering the Zalando Partner Program to review and understand the commission fee structure to ensure a successful and profitable collaboration with the platform.

What are the Partner Program Benefits?

The Zalando Partner Program offers numerous benefits for brands looking to expand their online presence and boost sales. Here are some key advantages of participating in the program:

  1. General: Brands gain access to Zalando’s large audience, which includes millions of fashion-conscious shoppers. By showcasing their products alongside well-established brands, emerging labels can gain greater exposure and attract potential customers.
  2. Discounts: Brands receive valuable support to help them succeed on the platform. This includes a 5K Kickstarter boost towards on-platform product advertising, a 5K Brand Home Boost, and advertising discount promotions during high-sales periods like Christmas and Cyber Week. Occasionally there are also discounts on other Zalando services such as Collbarary influencer marketing. It is important to note that these offers regularly change.
  3. Leverage Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS): ZFS is Zalando’s logistics solution that offers efficient inventory management, warehousing, and shipping services. By using ZFS, brands can provide customers with faster delivery times and better overall shopping experience. Products fulfilled through ZFS receive preference in the Zalando algorithm, leading to higher visibility and conversion rates, similar to Amazon Prime. Interested to learn more about ZFS vs Self-fulfilled?
  4. Access to Zalando Marketing Services: The Partner Program grants brands access to Zalando Marketing Services, which offers a wide range of marketing and advertising solutions tailored to boost brand visibility and sales. By leveraging these services, brands can effectively target their desired audience and create customised marketing campaigns that resonate with potential customers.

In summary, the Zalando Partner Program provides a comprehensive set of benefits, including access to a large audience, valuable marketing support, and advanced logistics solutions. These advantages can help brands of all sizes enhance their online presence, reach new customers, and achieve success in the competitive fashion retail market.

How do I join the Partner Program?

When applying to join the Zalando Partner Program, brands need to provide some initial information to help Zalando evaluate their suitability for the platform. This information includes:

  • The official brand name under which the brand was first registered.
  • The brand’s website URL.
  • The brand’s primary social media page URL, or the brand’s website URL if there is no social media page.
  • The average number of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and average selling price per category.

After submitting the required information, a dedicated Zalando team will review the brand’s application. The review process typically takes 4-8 weeks, after which the team will provide feedback via email, either approving or rejecting the application. In some cases, they may request additional information to further assess the brand’s suitability.

If a brand’s application is rejected, it could be due to various reasons, such as:

  • The brand’s article range consists of only discounted or pre-owned items, which do not align with Zalando’s focus on full-price and new articles.
  • The brand offers a type of article range that Zalando does not currently sell on its platform.
  • The brand’s article range does not fit well with Zalando’s existing assortment, making it unsuitable for the platform’s target audience.

Brands that are initially rejected may still have the opportunity to reapply if they can address the concerns raised by Zalando and demonstrate that their products align with the platform’s standards and expectations.

Using a Zalando API Integrator.

Zalando API Integrators are third-party software solutions that help brands and retailers manage their product listings, orders, and inventory on the Zalando platform more efficiently. These integrators work by connecting a brand’s existing system to Zalando’s API, allowing for seamless data exchange and synchronisation between the two systems.
While Zalando provides a user-friendly dashboard called zDirect for brands to manage and upload their products directly, many choose to use API Integrators instead. This is because these solutions offer several benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced support: API Integrators typically come with dedicated customer support, helping brands to troubleshoot any issues they may encounter while managing their Zalando presence.
  • Centralised management: For brands selling on multiple marketplaces like About You, OTTO, and Amazon, API Integrators enable them to manage all their product listings, orders, and inventory from a single, centralised system. This streamlines the process and saves time, as brands don’t have to manage each marketplace separately.
  • Advanced features: API Integrators may offer additional features and functionalities that are not available in zDirect, allowing brands to optimise their operations further and improve their performance on Zalando’s platform.

In summary, using a Zalando API Integrator can simplify and optimise the process of managing a brand’s presence on Zalando, especially for those selling on multiple marketplaces. By providing additional support, centralised management, and advanced features, API Integrators help brands achieve greater efficiency and success in the competitive online fashion retail space.

Partnering with Apple Designs

Choosing the right approach to expand your brand on Zalando and other marketplaces is crucial for your success. Below is a comparison between setting up your own integration and partnering with Apple Designs. This table highlights essential factors such as initial setup, operational management, strategic support, and scalability, helping you determine the best option for your business growth.

Criteria Setting Up Your Own Integration Using Apple Designs
Initial Setup and Integration – Time-consuming and complex
– High onboarding fees (€4,000 – €5,000)
– Streamlined process
– No onboarding fees
– Quick and efficient connection to marketplaces
Operational Management – High operational commitment
– Multiple contracts with each marketplace
– Full-service management
– Single point of contact for all marketplaces
– Expert at navigating marketplace bureaucracy
Strategic and Marketing Support – Limited in-house expertise required – Expert team support
– Data-driven insights
– Experience in performance marketing and large sophisticated campaigns
Scalability and International Reach – Incremental growth
– Requires additional investments for each new market
– Established presence in 22 European countries
– Seamless scaling
– In-depth knowledge regarding internationalisation
Operational Commitment – High – Low (managed by Apple Designs)
Customer Support – Handled by your team – Free customer support provided by Apple Designs
Reporting and Analytics – Requires internal setup – Weekly reports and data-driven insights provided
– Utilises advanced analytics tools for in-depth reporting
Stock Management – Handled internally – Collaborative stock management
– Planning for new collections, seasons, and events
– Advising on import and export solutions
Industry Developments – Monitored internally – Constant pulse on industry developments
– Rapid identification and capitalisation on market changes
Sales Conversion Rates – Dependent on internal strategies – High sales conversion rates (nearly twice the average)

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Apple Designs can help your brand succeed, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to provide the support and expertise you need to thrive in the competitive marketplace environment.

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