Capital Markets Day ’16: Zalando sees Itself as the Spotify of Fashion

Fashion is now in its iTunes moment

At the company’s Capital Market Day, Co-CEO and co-founder of Zalando, Robert Gentz, talked1 about the grand vision behind Zalando’s platfrom strategy regarding the ‘customer focus’ (PDF), comparing Zalando’s position in the fashion industry to those of Soundcloud and Spotify in the music.

Zalando Spotify

This is peculiar,2 given the fact that both have a very much consumer facing approach to any platform aspect they employ. (SoundCloud’s array of integrations is mainly creator (musician) focused.) Both have one thing Zalando is lacking currently: Spotify and Soundcloud allow to connect to other apps, first-party or third-party, by connecting via their respective user log-ins; making the connection visible to consumers and creating, amongst other things, a true advantage when it comes to onboarding.

Both, Soundcloud and Spotify, are bringing consumers and music together in a way that is, or more precisely was, truly new for the music industry: Combined, they provide access to more or less all music. That may be what Gentz was aiming at because, after all, Zalando’s long-term vision is to become the connecting element to all things fashion. This is comparable to some extent to those music companies. But it is never the less interesting to compare Zalando’s idea of a platform to those Zalando uses as comparison. There is no Spotify or Soundcloud app run by a subsidiary of those companies with no visible connection to the main company. (In contrast to Zalando and its new mobile apps.)

Interesting but unsurprising are the five customer facing pillars, as communicated by Gentz: Zalando Lounge, Zalon, Zalando Fashion Store, Movmnt and Fleek.

zalandofuturefashion.png

(More on Zalon and Lounge in another article.)

Among the newly launched mobile apps, Movmnt and Fleek were always the main apps. It makes a lot of sense that they are in, and the others are not: Movmnt with bringing the fashion outlet concept aggregated into a mobile app and Fleek, combining social aspects, a marketplace and more. (Zipcart is a delivery option (same day delivery) as a separate mobile app. Seen at Berlin, while in itself a perfectly fine app, will hardly ever have the same potential as Movmnt or Fleek.)

More on this topic:


  1. We have only seen the presentations yet, not the talks. At this year’s capital markets day only investors and financial analysts were allowed to attend. Journalists and industry analysts were not. (Those attended the “Zalando Payday” press event a few days ago.) I have been told by Zalando that the talks from the capital markets day will be put online shortly. I’ll link to them then. 
  2. Additionally to the obvious differences between the companies products and their positionings, I have over the last years grown hesitant to compare industries in this way to closely. Even music, books and TV can hardly be combared to each other to draw too many analogies and those categories all fall into the media basket. I see where he’s coming from though. 

18 comments

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