Selling on Zalando: Self-fulfilled vs Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS)

Key Takeaways

Aspect Self-fulfilled Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS)
Control High control over logistics Zalando handles logistics
Costs Additional costs for logistics management Fee-based, potentially saving on shipping
Quality Assurance Must meet Zalando’s quality requirements Zalando ensures quality and customer service
Access to Markets Need to arrange logistics for market access Zalando provides access to European markets
Customer Experience Must include detailed return instructions and labels Streamlined returns process handled by Zalando
Visibility Standard visibility on Zalando’s platform Products receive preference in Zalando’s algorithm


When it comes to selling on Europe’s leading fashion and lifestyle platform, Zalando, merchants have two primary fulfillment options: self-fulfillment or using Zalando’s own Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS). The choice between these two options can significantly affect your operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, your brand’s success on the platform.

Self-fulfillment: Pros and Cons

Self-fulfillment allows retailers to maintain complete control over their logistics. This means they are responsible for storing, packing, and shipping products, as well as handling returns. While this option offers higher control over the logistics process and the ability to implement one’s own quality standards, it also requires retailers to bear the additional costs and responsibilities associated with these tasks. Retailers must meet Zalando’s stringent quality assurance requirements, which include providing a delivery bill, return instructions, and a prepaid return label with each package.

Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS): Advantages

ZFS, on the other hand, is a fee-based model where Zalando takes care of logistics, warehousing, shipping, and returns. By opting for ZFS, retailers can leverage Zalando’s extensive logistics network, potentially saving on shipping costs and enjoying higher visibility on the platform due to the preference given to ZFS-fulfilled products in Zalando’s algorithm.

Choosing the Right Fulfillment Option

The decision between self-fulfillment and ZFS should be based on various factors including the size of your business, your capacity to manage logistics, and your goals on the Zalando platform. Small retailers might find the logistics requirements daunting and could benefit from the streamlined process offered by ZFS. Conversely, larger retailers with established logistics processes might opt for self-fulfillment to maintain more control over their operations.


Both fulfillment options have their advantages and challenges. Self-fulfillment offers more control but comes with additional responsibilities and costs. ZFS simplifies logistics management, potentially enhances product visibility, and could lead to higher sales volumes. Ultimately, the choice should align with your business model, operational capabilities, and strategic objectives on Zalando’s marketplace.


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