The new Fleek App and the Missing Zalando Login

Zalando Fleek App

Fleek App is Zalando’s Next Try at Making Instagram Shoppable & More

Zalando has launched Fleek, a new mobile app. (German only for now) With Fleek, users can follow brands. (“More than 1.000 top brands” are listed.) Fleek uses the official social media accounts of those brands to bring in content for a first iteration of a stream à la Facebook or Twitter. For example, users can see pictures posted on Instagram by the brands they follow, with the clothes being shown listed below for purchasing. (Second time’s the charm.) The app also uses the users location (either via GPS or manually provided) to make suggestions for fashion based on the local weather – which seems more like a gimmick that won’t last. The app’s interface as a whole makes a very thought through impression for a first iteration.

Fleek wants to be the “ultimate source of inspiration”. And it is conceptually off to a good start.

Interesting to note is also that there is already sponsored content in the app from the very start. Sponsored content appears prominently in the discover section right after the weather widget. It can’t get more “above the fold”.

Zalando Fleek App

Zalando Login, Where Art Thou?

Zalando created a subsidiary – Mobile Fashion Discovery GmbH – for its mobile apps. This subsidiary is also, obviously, listed as the developer behind the app in the iOS app store, same as for the other apps. So users won’t know that they are looking at an app from Zalando if they didn’t know that beforehand. There is no hint at this being an app from Zalando either within the app store nor within the app itself. Which is fine.

But it is rather odd that current Zalando users don’t have the option to sign in using a Zalando login. This makes the onboarding unnecessarily hard. Most people stop at the register screen; that is why things like the Facebook login are so prevalent. (Amaze, a mobile app on top of Zalando’s platform from an independent startup, at least offers the option to register with Facebook as well as traditionally with email and password. Zalando’s own apps don’t. (That is at least the case with Fleek and Seen at Berlin; I haven’t checked MOVMNT and Zipcart yet due to having no Android available at the moment.))

Connecting to the ‘mothership’ would make onboarding at several points easier: For starters users can skip the tedious register process and, after that, Fleek can make better suggestions on brands to follow based on what one has bought previously on Zalando, for example.

Conversion rates on Zalando’s new mobile apps can’t be great: Every user has to setup everything again from login to payment details to the shipping adress.

Which is to say: It would be very surprising (and, frankly, troubling) if a Zalando login option would not come to the Fleek app within the next months. In fact, it is at least a little bit concerning -or dare I say eyebrow raising– that Fleek is lacking any connection to Zalando itself at launch. First impressions matter.

It goes even further: The same can be said about Zalando’s “Seen at Berlin” app. The more mobile apps Zalando releases, the weirder this approach gets. If a Zalando user with an iPhone wants to use all mobile apps by Zalando available for their smartphone, they have to register for every single app again; which is right now three times. (the Zalando main app, Seen at Berlin, Fleek; Zipcart and MOVMNT are Android only right now)

It really makes no sense.

Now, Zalando is still in the experimental phase with the company’s new mobile approach. 2016 – 2017 will be about “speedboat” initiatives:

Zalando platform strategy multi-year

But the fact remains that the company will gain significantly less feedback from the market to learn from as long as Zalando makes it very hard for its customers to use its multiple mobile apps; and those mobile apps are surely only going to grow in number as time goes on.

One has to wonder how exactly the priorities are set at Zalando to omit such a crucial element.

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