Zalando Could Become the Role Model for Winning Against Amazon

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The New York Times has published a portrait of Zalando in which almost every strategic initiative at least gets named:

Few companies have been able to keep Amazon — the largest online fashion seller in the United States — at bay after it enters a new market. The notable exception is in China, where rivals like Alibaba, the world’s second-largest online seller by market value, have been able to hold their ground.

For decades, tech companies have taken their cues from Silicon Valley. But Zalando’s approach of borrowing from its Chinese counterparts represents a new strategy of looking East, not West, for inspiration. […]

The German company previously focused on handling all sales and inventory itself. But in addition to selling directly to consumers, it now wants to remake itself into a digital shopping mall, allowing fashion houses and retailers to make sales as well, often with limited input from Zalando.

These efforts, roughly a year in the making, may foster a rare European tech player able to give Silicon Valley heavy-hitters a run for their money across the region, still one of the world’s largest — and most profitable — markets. […]

There is also one very odd quote in there:

For Nicolas Borg, a Zalando strategy executive who previously worked at eBay, the next stage will most likely be chatbots, or humanlike interactions powered by artificial intelligence, to offer fashion advice to consumers on the likes of Facebook Messenger.

“In the future, what will matter is not where the purchase happens, but how you can influence it,” Mr. Borg said.

Interesting to note: Zalando’s new mobile apps -Fleek, Movmnt, Zipcart, Seen at- aren’t mentioned at all. This is worth a mention because at least Fleek and Movmnt are meant to become future business pillars for Zalando.

One year in, none of Zalando’s new mobile apps are being advertised yet; or ‘officially’ launched for that matter.

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