Success Crafted

Unveiling the Success Story of Zalando: A Leading European Online Fashion Destination

Zalando is one of the largest online fashion platforms and the leading online fashion destination in Europe. It offers customers a unique and personalized shopping experience, where customers can choose from a vast selection of fashion products from various brands, including clothing, footwear, and accessories.

In this article, well provide an overview of Zalando’s e-commerce platform and its marketplace business model, as well as the company’s history, including its founding and growth over the years. Zalando

1.1 Overview of Zalando’s e-commerce platform

Zalando’s e-commerce platform offers customers a broad range of products at competitive prices.

The platform offers over 400,000 products from over 2,000 different brands. Customers can choose from various categories, such as women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and footwear, as well as accessories.

The website is user-friendly, offers excellent customer service, and features a variety of payment options to cater to all customers’ needs. 1.2 Zalando’s marketplace business model

Zalando’s marketplace business model is similar to that of a traditional brick-and-mortar marketplace where third-party sellers offer their products to customers.

Zalando’s marketplace allows brands and retailers to sell their products directly on the platform, while Zalando provides various fulfillment services, warehousing, and logistics to ensure successful sales for its partners. The Zalando marketplace business model operates on a commission-based system, where Zalando receives a percentage of the sale.

2. Zalando Company History

2.1 Founding of Zalando and early challenges

Zalando was founded in Germany in 2008 by Robert Gentz and David Schneider.

The idea originated from the founders’ desire to offer fashion-conscious individuals a new and unique way to shop for clothing online. The founders had their first experience in the e-commerce industry, selling flip-flops on eBay and MySpace.

Zalando quickly gained popularity among consumers, and by 2010, the company had over 1 million unique visitors per month. However, the rapid growth also led to challenges, such as insufficient infrastructure to keep up with the increasing demand for products.

2.2 Growth and expansion of Zalando

To address the challenges, Zalando invested in its infrastructure and opened a warehouse and logistic center in 2011. The company also launched its marketplace business model, allowing third-party sellers to offer their products on the platform.

The introduction of the marketplace business model helped to expand Zalando’s product offering and increase its customer base, resulting in a revenue increase of over 60% in just three years. Zalando also introduced new services such as the Zalando Outlet store, which offers previous season collections at discounted prices.

The company also provides a styling service called Zalon, where customers can book a personal stylist for fashion advice and personalized styling tips.


In conclusion, Zalando is a leading online fashion destination offering a vast selection of products from various brands. The company operates on a marketplace business model, which allows brands and retailers to sell their products to customers.

Zalando’s rapid growth and success can be attributed to its focus on excellent customer service, user-friendly website, and the introduction of innovative services such as the Zalando Outlet store and Zalon styling service. Its history also shows that investing in infrastructure and introducing new services can help in overcoming challenges and driving growth.

3. How Zalando Makes Money

Zalando’s business model is centered around generating revenue through different avenues.

Here, we’ll discuss the different ways Zalando makes money and how the company has diversified its revenue streams. 3.1 Product Sales

The primary source of revenue for Zalando is product sales.

Zalando purchases products from various brands and sells them on its platform while offering free shipping and returns to customers. The company offers a vast selection of products and caters to various customer demographics, from budget-conscious to luxury shoppers.

The company has a strong wholesale purchasing system, which enables Zalando to buy products from brands and sell them on its platform. Additionally, the company deals with retail partners, warehouses, and logistics providers to ensure seamless product delivery to its customers.

3.2 Partner Program

Zalando’s partner program enables fashion brands to sell their products directly on Zalando’s platform. Zalando allows partner brands to set up their online stores and offers them access to Zalando’s logistics and warehouse network.

In return, Zalando receives a commission on sales made by partner brands on its platform. The partner program has resulted in an increase in product offerings, generating revenue through a commission-based system.

Zalando’s successful partner program has helped the company increase relationships with established brands and expand brand offerings to customers. 3.3 Fulfillment Services

Another way Zalando generates revenue is through fulfillment services.

The company offers warehousing, logistics, and fulfillment services to brands, retailers, and other e-commerce businesses. This enables other businesses to ship their products to Zalando’s warehouse network and use its logistics and delivery services.

As a result, businesses can focus on product development and marketing while Zalando handles order fulfillment, distribution, and delivery. The fulfillment service generates additional revenue for Zalando through warehousing and logistics fees.

The company is continually expanding its warehouse network to cater to more brands and provide more efficient delivery services. 3.4 Subscription

Zalando also earns revenue through its subscription service, Zalando Plus.

Customers can sign up for Zalando Plus and receive free shipping on all orders, priority customer support, and exclusive product offerings. The monthly fee provides Zalando with recurring revenue and an added premium service that enhances customer loyalty.

3.5 Marketing Services

Zalando generates additional revenue through marketing services. The company offers advertising and marketing services to third-party brands, with sponsored placements on Zalando’s platform.

Additionally, Zalando runs advertising campaigns with sponsored content and exclusive brand partnerships. Zalando also uses data analytics and customer insights to help brands target their core audience and improve their marketing strategies.

This generates significant advertising revenue for the company. 3.6 Styling Service

Zalando’s styling service, Zalon, provides customers with a personalized shopping experience.

Customers can access the service through the Zalando website and book a virtual styling session with a professional stylist. The stylist will provide personalized styling tips and curated product suggestions, helping customers find the perfect outfit.

The styling service generates additional revenue for Zalando through commission-based sales and enhances the customer experience, resulting in increased loyalty. 4.

Zalando Funding, Revenue & Valuation

4.1 Funding and investors

Zalando has received significant funding from various investors over the years. Some notable investors include Baillie Gifford, Anders Holch Povlsen, and Kinnevik.

In 2014, Zalando went public, and the company was valued at $6.84 billion. 4.2 Revenue and valuation

In 2020, Zalando reported a revenue of 8.2 billion, a 23% increase from the previous year.

The company’s market capitalization has grown significantly over the years and is currently valued at over 28 billion. Zalando’s revenue has been driven mainly by its product sales and services, as well as its expanding range of offerings.


Zalando’s revenue streams have evolved over the years, from product sales to diversifying its revenue streams through various services. The company’s successful business model offers customers a personalized shopping experience while offering brands and retailers various services to improve their sales and reach a broader audience.

Zalando’s continued growth, funding, and market valuation, demonstrate the company’s strength in the e-commerce industry. 5.

Ownership of Zalando

In this section, we’ll explore Zalando’s ownership structure, including its major shareholders and tradeable shares. 5.1 Major Shareholders

Zalando has several major shareholders, led by Baillie Gifford, a Scottish investment management firm.

As of 2021, Baillie Gifford held 11.8% of Zalando’s shares, making it the company’s largest shareholder. Anders Holch Povlsen, the founder and CEO of fashion retail giant Bestseller, is another major shareholder.

Povlsen holds a 10.7% stake in Zalando. Other notable shareholders include Members of Zalandos Management Board, who have disclosed holdings of 0.1% each, and other institutional investors who typically have between 1 to 5% ownership.

5.2 Tradeable Shares

Zalando’s shares are freely tradable on the Frankfurt and Berlin stock exchange, with a multitude of shareholders, including retail and institutional investors. The company has a significant number of shares available for trading, including a substantial amount of “free float,” or shares not held by insiders.

Zalando went public in 2014, issuing 22,5 million shares in an initial public offering. Since then, the company has gained popularity and continues to attract new investors, resulting in an increase in the number of tradeable shares available in the market.

Zalando’s shareholders’ agreements provide that any shareholder owning more than 5% of shares outstanding must publicly disclose their shareholding. This promotes transparency in the company’s ownership structure and ensures proper corporate governance.

Furthermore, Zalando encourages shareholders input in its development through its Annual General Meetings. The annual feedback and evaluation process helps ensure that the company remains accountable to all its stakeholders, including shareholders and investors.

Private ownership also exists within Zalando’s ownership structure. Members of the founding team and executives own a portion of the shares, resulting in private ownership of a portion of Zalando’s equity capital.


Zalandos ownership structure consists of several major shareholders and tradeable shares. Its shares are freely tradable, and the company has a significant number of shares available for trading.

Shareholders’ input and feedback promote transparency and proper corporate governance. The company’s private ownership structure ensures the founding team and executives remain engaged in the company’s success.

Overall, Zalando’s ownership structure ensures a well-balanced approach to governance and accountability to all stakeholders. In conclusion, Zalando is a leading online fashion platform operating in Europe, and it generates revenue through product sales, the partner program, fulfillment services, the Zalando Plus subscription service, marketing services, and the Zalon styling service.

The company has a successful ownership structure comprising of several major shareholders, tradable shares, private ownership, and transparency in corporate governance. Zalando’s success is attributed to its focus on providing a unique and personalized shopping experience, investing in infrastructure, and introducing innovative services.

The main takeaway is that diversifying revenue streams, focusing on customer experience, and proper corporate governance are essential factors in an e-commerce company’s success.

Popular Posts