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Foto Ingo Röger
01.08.2023 13:00
from Ingo Röger

With the fulfillment services, brands and retailers can enter the international markets on the platforms of the fashion and lifestyle marketplace

Started as an online store for shoes in 2008, Zalando has rapidly developed into one of the most important online platforms in the fashion and lifestyle sector. Since 2017, the Berlin-based company offers selected brands and retailers the opportunity to participate in a partner program that grants access to the international logistics network via Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS), including the paid use of services such as storage, packaging, shipping, customer service and returns processing. This enables Zalando partners to reach the more than 51 million active customers on 25 country platforms without own storage capacities and logistics infrastructure. As an integrator, plentysystems offers an official connection to Zalando including the ZFS, which is now available to members of the Zalando partner program.

plentysystems Integration Zalando Fulfillment Solutions

The Model ZFS as Win-Win-Win-Solution

With the fulfillment solution, Zalando is pursuing its vision of positioning itself as the starting point for fashion shopping in e-commerce. At the same time, the intention is to help partners achieve profitable growth via Europe's largest e-commerce fashion fulfillment network - 230 brands already rely on it.

A fundamental driver for this strategically important step on Zalando's part is customer focus. The one-box solution, through which orders containing both Zalando and partner items are consolidated into one shipment, is expected to bring a significant increase in customer satisfaction. This should generate a convenient, environmentally friendly delivery process, simplify returns processes, and provide access to a wider range of products through the Zalando platform.

Zalando Fulfillment Solutions One-Box Prozess

But ZFS also holds significant advantages for the participating partners. For example, the major limiting factor posed by the required logistics network can be countered by achieving rapid scaling and easy internationalization of the business through the existing European logistics infrastructure and the many Zalando markets. Furthermore, participants of the partner program benefit from the economies of scale and efficient operations of the Zalando network, tailored to the fashion and lifestyle industry, and can thus reduce their logistics costs by an average of 25-30% as well as meet high customer expectations regarding delivery. At the same time, Zalando grants a high degree of flexibility in terms of the fulfillment volume to be transferred, which can be adjusted in both directions depending on growth, seasonality and demand.

In short, Zalando Fulfillment Solutions offer the possibility to serve multiple European marketplaces as well as the company's own online store, including country-specific shipping options and returns processes, with only one inventory management, only one smooth service provider integration and only one logistics contract.

The Service Scope of ZFS

The standard scope of services includes warehousing, shipping of goods including accompanying warehouse processes such as packaging and label printing, as well as returns processing. In addition to these, value-added services can be booked in the inbound area and after returns processing.

New is that Zalando Fulfillment Solutions now also offer the possibility to distribute items from past seasons and collections via ZFS-Offprice in order to generate additional sales and minimize inventory risks. In addition, fulfillment can also be used beyond Zalando orders for sales from the company's own online store or other external channels.

While stock ownership, product range decisions, image and text creation, and pricing remain entirely the responsibility of the partners, ZFS also allows hybrid models and enables the processing of selected (Zalando) channels via the logistics network. This means, for example, that it is possible to handle order processing for the German (, Austrian ( and Swiss ( platforms independently, while all Zalando markets outside the DACH region are operated via ZFS.

Zalando Fulfillment Solutions Service Scope

plentysystems as Official Integrator

With plentysystems, it is possible to sell seamlessly on all international Zalando marketplaces and to connect Zalando Fulfillment Solutions.

The prerequisite for selling on Zalando and using ZFS is the admission to the Zalando partner program and successful onboarding in the fulfillment processes. Admission is on an invite-only basis, which means that Zalando must proactively contact the partner - other conditions for participation include criteria such as annual sales on Zalando and the number of international markets to be connected.

As soon as the contract has been signed and onboarding has been completed, the setup via plentysystems can begin. While item information is transferred via a catalog format, order import and exchange of inventory information is done via the Zalando API interface. We recommend setting up a separate warehouse to track ZFS inventory.

All further information about the Zalando partner program, ZFS, or the plentysystems integration is provided by the following links.

Learn more on Zalando's Partner Program

Learn more on Zalando Fulfillment Solutions

View the ZFS Inbound Operational Checklist

Learn more on ZFS-Integration in the plentyManual

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