Smiling online shoppers hug their postmen, people cry out with joy when they clap eyes on a DHL courier – or so Zalando would portray its customers. The story of this online shop is nothing if not fast paced: the small corporation, founded in 2008 by Robert Gentz and David Schneider as a start-up in a Berlin flat, is today Zalando – one of the heavyweights in the German online shopping market.
The Deutsche Post DHL courier plays a leading role in Zalando advertisements.
In the beginning, the founders packed and took the parcels to the post office themselves. Within a few weeks of the company’s founding, they had to order a taxi to transport the parcels, with their daily volume quickly rising to around 60 parcels. Today, the use of taxis to transport parcels to an outlet has ceased to be logistically viable: Zalando now sends an average of one million parcels to customers every month.
Without the help of a strong logistics partner, it would not have been possible for the company to handle such rapid growth – and DHL Paket has been on board from the word go. Today, Deutsche Post DHL’s parcel branch is the company’s main shipping partner, handling all of Zalando’s dispatches and the majority of its returns.
“Our services make us an ideal partner for Zalando,” explains Katja Herbst, Chief Sales Officer at DHL Paket. “We’ve been working together for years and we share a common goal: satisfied customers.”
DHL Paket collects the prepared parcels from Zalando and takes them to the nearest parcel centre, where they are sorted before being delivered to the recipient. However, DHL doesn’t stop there. Its services go far beyond parcel delivery processing. In a measure designed to minimise idle time, DHL also provides Zalando with warehouse logistics support at the logistics centre in Erfurt where the company stores some of its stock. This collaboration also includes the handling of incoming goods from manufacturers and the distribution of samples.
“Deutsche Post DHL has been a reliable, flexible and innovative partner since we started this business in 2008. DHL inspires a sense of confidence and meets the high expectations of our customers, who wish to receive their products quickly,” says David Schröder, CEO of Zalando Operations GmbH. But the partnership goes deeper than that, he explains: “we learn from each other and work together to continuously optimise our high standards in terms of both delivery times and customer service”.
Deutsche Post DHL offers convenient delivery solutions: the around 2,650 Packstations across Germany, for example, facilitate the collection and dispatch of parcels both day and night.
Yellow-and-red-clad delivery drivers out and about with parcels sporting the black-and-orange logo have long since been a common sight in Germany. In fact, Deutsche Post DHL couriers have come to play a central role in Zalando’s advertising campaign over the past few years. With the slogan “scream for joy” (Schrei vor Glück), their advertisements feature customers – predominantly women – doing just that as the postman rings the doorbell, bringing parcels full of shoes and clothing. As soon as these advertisements hit television screens, the click rate on the home page shoots up – as does the number of orders.
The deliverers are the link between Zalando and the customer. In fact, the advertisements represent both a tribute and a thank you to all those delivering parcels across the country. After all, they have accompanied Zalando right from the start and are an important part of the company’s success story.
In 2012, the online fashion shop generated revenues of €1.15 billion. Zalando ended the first half of 2013 with net revenues of €809 million. The company’s assortment now boasts more than 150,000 products – from shoes and clothing to accessories and sporting goods. A first-class logistics service is non-negotiable in ensuring this success story continues and Deutsche Post DHL has introduced many services to make the lives of both the online supplier and its customers even easier. “Our new services put online shops in the position to offer their customers even faster and more convenient parcel delivery options,” says Andrej Busch, CEO DHL Paket.
Zalando is benefiting here, too, and is now extending its successful co-operation with Deutsche Post DHL beyond its domestic borders. Within one year of founding the company, the online fashion shop began making deliveries to Austria, followed by the Netherlands and France. Indeed, Zalando now operates in 15 European countries, generating more of its revenue outside Germany. DHL Freight handles the bulk of international shipments to neighbouring countries. Zalando continues to grow and the success story of the start-up that turned into a European fashion giant is far from over.
With the barcode scanner our customers can track their DHL items, calculate postage, find their closest Packstation, Paketbox or postal outlet, or contact customer service – all with the DHL app.
All services are available throughout Germany.
Deutsche Post DHL