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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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 customized 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 synchronization 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.
- Centralized 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, centralized 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 optimize their operations further and improve their performance on Zalando’s platform.
In summary, using a Zalando API Integrator can simplify and optimize the process of managing a brand’s presence on Zalando, especially for those selling on multiple marketplaces. By providing additional support, centralized management, and advanced features, API Integrators help brands achieve greater efficiency and success in the competitive online fashion retail space.
What should you consider when choosing an integrator?
Many Zalando integrators offer varying features to cater to the diverse needs of businesses. These integrators may specialize in particular marketplaces, offer different types of reports, provide unique support options, and have varying costs involved. It’s crucial to understand the distinctions among these integrators to select the one best suited for your business goals.
If you are looking to rapidly internationalize at a low cost, ChannelUnity could be an excellent option for your business. Unlike other integrators, ChannelUnity does not charge extra for expanding into new countries. This makes it an attractive choice for businesses looking to grow their presence in international markets without incurring significant additional expenses.
Tradebyte is another notable Zalando integrator that deserves mention. Tradebyte is owned by Zalando, which gives it an inherent advantage in terms of compatibility and understanding of the marketplace. With a direct connection to the Zalando platform, Tradebyte can provide seamless integration and support for businesses looking to sell on Zalando. This close relationship with the parent company ensures a smooth and efficient process for businesses that choose Tradebyte as their Zalando integrator.