Zalando mulls cooperating with retailers beyond Germany

Zalando considers expanding its trial project with brick and mortar stores. Since June 2016, German retailers have started packing and sending customer orders of the Berlin-based online shopping platform from their stock. Now, Zalando SE considers to take this project to other countries.

After more than 170 German stores joined the trial project, the company aims to expand its cooperation to include fashion retailers in Austria or Switzerland, Anna Heil, logistics platform manager at Zalando said at a conference in Cologne on Wednesday.

Retailers are able to take orders from customers shopping on Zalando by using a mobile app called gaxsys. Howevever, retailers can only do so for products from brands that are already sold in Zalando's online shop. The cooperation increases the products Zalando can offer and helps traditional retailers sell products online without having to set up a costly webshop. In addition, retail partnes are able to gain an additional channel to sell off products that have been sitting on the shelf for too long.

Indispensable cooperation

Zalando wants to move away from being a regular e-commerce player to become a fashion platform, that cooperates will all sorts of partners from within the industry, said Heil. “We’ve understood over the years that cooperating with physical retailers is indispensable. The customers are neither entirely shopping online nor offline.”

Zalando has already received several requests from Austrian retailers, according to Heil. Joining forces with retailers in countries such as Spain could be another interesting step as this would reduce the longer delivery times that Zalando still faces in some markets.

The gaxsys platform is organized like an exchange. Every order on Zalando for a single product above a price of 45 euros will be displayed there for three hours, Heil said. Retailers have no obligations but may decide for themselves whether or not to deliver an order. They’re paying a commission of 18 percent per item sold, of which Zalando receives 15 percent and the software provider gaxsys 3 percent. Zalando takes care of the billing and provides boxes with its own labels. The retailer bears the costs for delivery and return.

Photo: Zalando
 

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