A common thought, though perhaps a naive one, is that the online fashion retail market is saturated and there’s no room for newcomers to have any mainstream success. While it’s true that technology pretty much allows anyone to knock up a web-store, source cheap products or sell on behalf of a larger company, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for those who truly wish to innovate. Founded in 2008, Zalando is a perfect example of this.
Like many low profit, fly by night eCommerce ventures, Robert Gentz and David Schneider began their business from home. They stuck to one niche – flip flops – and ticked all the required boxes to keep customers happy. But there was nothing particularly special about them. After all many other stores that had been around much longer also sold flip flops and footwear. Perhaps if they’d stuck at it, by now they could have been the leader in online flip flop sales, though it’s more likely they would have just scraped by with search traffic and a few return customers, while hoping that Google bumps them up the shopping results.
This is the crux of Zalando’s success. They didn’t just knock up an online store with a cookie cutter shop based content management system, and they didn’t just stick with one product and hope for the best. They expanded, innovated and went above and beyond what was expected. They are now one of the most successful fashion retailers on the web. In 2008 they only shipped domestically, now they are in 15 countries. In total they offer over 150,000 individual products, from over 1,500 popular brands. In just 4 years, between 2012 and 2015, their revenue has increased 260% to almost 3 billion Euros!
They are an eCommerce juggernaut. Why? Because they are more than just a typical online fashion store.
Check out the below infographic, created by dr-discount.nl, below: