In a context characterised by great changes in consumer purchasing habits, fashion e-commerce is growing at an astonishing rate, with two important trends increasingly making headway: sustainability and the second-hand market. This is what is revealed by Riccardo Vola during his speech, “The Starting Point of Fashion” held on the Netcomm Forum platform this past 12 May: “Zalando, leading platform in Europe for fashion, is currently present in 17 countries, and in 2020, it recorded a revenue of 8 billion euros. – he declares – Our strength lies in the number of brands and products present on the platform: today, we host over 4,000 brands and over 1 million products. This past year, we also registered 5.4 million clicks (editor’s note: interaction with clientele). Our goal is to become a starting point of fashion, a point from which searches onto the sector begin, through both the e-commerce site and Zalando App”.

Currently, Zalando is the most visited platform in Europe and its App is the most downloaded fashion App. So, we ask what are the pillars behind this success? “Our platform puts three players into a win-win-win situation: – explains Riccardo Vola – consumers, who with us have the advantage of finding a greater selection of products, with ease-of-use, and convenience; partners, who have direct access to consumers and the possibility of leveraging specific targets, as well as receiving support in terms of logistics; and Zalando itself, with its platform that continues to add scale and avoid the risk of leftover inventory with a mix of products available in both our warehouses and directly from our partners in their warehouses”.

In 2020, Zalando tripled its number of partnerships, with a greater involvement of brands on its platform, registering a growth of +23% in selection and doubling the markets where it is present. Another area in which it is growing are its partnerships with stores, which quintuplicated in 2020, leading to a +13% rise in store sales. For this business area, Zalando expects to triple the number of stores and expand connected retail to 13 markets in 2021.

What about sustainability? “We are the leading platform in Europe – declares Riccardo Vola – our strategy of sustainability, launched in 2019, made us carbon neutral (including both shipments and returns). We have also witnessed greater attention to sustainable products by customers, with searches passing from 1 out of every 5 customers in 2019, to 1 out of every 2 in 2021. In our selection we have 800 thousand sustainable products. Even our packaging box is 100% sustainable”.

Zalando is also creating a strong position for itself in the second-hand market, which experts believe will surpass the first-hand market in 5-10 years: “With the second-hand offering, we went from 1 to 6 countries in 2020 and we should arrive in 13 different countries by the end of 2021 – concludes Riccardo Vola – We are witnessing growing interest in both the purchasing and sales of second-hand goods”.