The Netherlands is the second market where Zalando's physical partner programme will be introduced. More than two years after German customers, Dutch web shoppers too will be able to see on the web shop whether the item they like can be delivered through a local store.
‘Fashion as a service’
Zalando will soon be adding the first physical stores in the Netherlands to its partner programme. These partners can process Zalando orders from their own stock and deliver them to the customer. In the future there may also be an option to pick up items, but the Germans prefer to test that out on their domestic market first, Director Northern Europe Kenneth Melchior, explained an e-commerce event in Utrecht.
The Netherlands will be the first country after Germany to feature Zalando's 'fashion as a service' strategy, which links the supply of local stores to its website in real time, so web shoppers can see whether a local store has their desired product in stock. The customer simply orders online at the German web shop, but the local store delivers the item. That way, the customer receives the item even faster, possibly even on the same day.
In Germany, 600 stores (including big names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Marc O'Polo, Bestseller and Drykorn) already have their stock linked to the Zalando platform. Local stores serve as 'miniature warehouses' for Zalando and pay them a (variable) commission on the sales. "In Germany, partnered stores sell about ten items through Zalando," Melchior told retail website Twinkle. "Those are sales they would not have had otherwise, incremental, just by connecting." Whether and when the German company will bring the option to Belgium and other marketsis not yet known.