How Zalando Looks at the Apple TV App Store

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Nuzhat Naweed, Head of Mobile Product and Engineering at Zalando, writes at the Zalando tech blog about the Apple TV and what this platform and similar ones might mean for Zalando:

The recently unveiled Apple TV upgrade will allow customers to control their apps in new ways, which begs the question of where our Fashion Store app fits into the equation.

We believe that shopping through your TV may soon become the norm, but the gravity of mobile’s effect on the market shouldn’t be sidestepped just yet. We want to be with our customers on every step of their shopping journey, and right now their feet are firmly planted in the mobile world.

Earlier this year we relaunched our Fashion App with dedicated mobile-only content, as a push towards our mobile-first approach. We want customers to engage with an app that feels personal and inspirational, which is why we’ve created quality content specifically for mobile users. Videos, editorials, and scrollable look-books submitted by style influencers have been specially curated, with the Zalando Mobile Team behind the app ensuring that all of our 15 markets are recognised and captivated.

Apple added a dedicated Shopping category to the App store in November 2015, which includes apps for mobile banking and coupons. Apps that support Apple Pay are also included. This is a significant change, moving shopping apps out of the Lifestyle section and placing m-commerce in the spotlight. What’s important to note here is that this new category doesn’t merely contain apps where you can shop, but also features apps where customers can follow the latest trends, find influential content and product reviews, and be inspired to discover to new brands. This singular category’s concept is exactly what we aim to deliver with our Zalando Fashion Store app, where the customer’s needs and desires are our top priority.

The implied “either or” with regards to mobile apps and TV apps is of course nothing to be considered seriously. A strong TV apps platform will for the majority of players mean that they will have to offer some constellation1 of both mobile and TV apps. The interesting aspect of TV platforms -Apple TV and Fire TV are the main ones right now- is not that a new detached platform model arises. The interesting aspect is rather around the question of what becomes possible by combining mobile, TV and other app platforms.

Now, why, you might wonder, does the Head of Mobile Product and Engineering at Zalando write about a platform the company isn’t even yet participating on?

Glad you asked!

Corporate tech blog posts are in most parts made for attracting talent. So if you want to work on a smart TV shopping app you might want to consider applying at Zalando. The company is winking at you.

It still may be a while until anything gets released and it certainly will not be essential for the core business for the time being, but the company is almost certainly working right now on what Zalando on the big screen might mean. (Maybe a “TV speedboat” this year?)

More on this topic:


  1. Those constellations will vary greatly over time. New middle men, platforms and so on will arise. But it is far to early for a detailed discussion about this. 

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