Zalando, Rocket’s online shopping website, plans to start a curated shopping service, reports Textilwirtschaft, a German textile industry magazine. The service differs to competitors such as Outfittery, Modomoto, and Kisura in that it curates clothing for both male and female customers.
Zalando is currently hiring to fill the 30 – 40 open stylist positions, which will provide individual style advice for men and women. Zalando will offer their entire range of products, which includes over 150,000 products from 1,500 brands.
Textilwirtschaft reports that, starting in spring 2015, the service will launch initially in Germany and then expand to other European countries. A spokesperson from Zalando has advised VentureVillage that the company is not ready to share further information about the project, whose name is not yet decided on.
Zalando entering this market makes sense, though it will probably be pricey. It will be interesting to see how the service will work and how it differs from its competitors. The biggest challenge will probably be how to reduce the return rate of packages and clothing, which is between 50 – 60% according to many online fashion retailers. Outfittery started building 3D scanners to offer clothing that fit the size and shape of their customers.
Zalando’s advantage could be their ability to make use of a customer’s order history, which will include sizing and style. This could help to provide a more efficient service that would help in finding the perfect fit for the customer and reduce the return rate.