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In France, if you want to order from the Adidas webshop, the order will probably be delivered by Zalando as part of a multi-channel test pilot programme. The two companies want to test whether working together can efficiently steer logistics capacity. Ecommercenews.eu say that Zalando, the Berlin-based online platform, is running this first test in multi-channel models, testing the waters to discover new ways to help brand partners connect on Zalando's platform.

zalando adidas partners
© David Peperkamp / Shutterstock.com

Fast And Unbranded

This partnership is no gimmick. It will lead to faster delivery times, with the first Adidas customers having already noticed. They got their orders within a two-hour window on the same or following evening, but with the usual look and feel. Zalando packs the boxes in one of their logistics centres, but the German fashion giant puts them in an unbranded shipping box. For the Adidas customers, only the better shipping will be noticed.

Platform Strategy

Jan Bartels from Zalando said, “The test is an important step within our platform strategy. We are very happy that we are once more joining forces with Adidas, to test an exciting approach where we create synergies for the benefit of our customers. Adidas customers benefit from faster delivery, and Zalando customers benefit because the pilot allows us to extend Zalando’s same-day delivery areas.”

The strategy really sounds like a win/win scenario for the two companies. Won't helping brands with their own e-commerce hurt Zalando's sales, drawing customers away from its e-commerce platform?

Mr Bartels told Reuters the contrary: “We are not afraid of cannibalization. We have a very strong proposition in multibrand retailing. We don’t want to become a third party logistics provider. We are still a fashion platform.” 

This strategy really should lead to improved margins for Zalando. Providing logistics and advertising services is already more profitable than its core online retailing operations. It's amazing how online commerce can blur the lines – right across the board.