Berlin-based fashion e-tailer Zalando has launched a supply chain service for brands and retailers selling through its site in a move it says will improve customer satisfaction and help scale their businesses internationally.

Operated separately from its primary e-commerce site, through Zalando Fulfillment Solutions, the company takes over order fulfilment for partners from inbound to return, with solutions catered to their specific needs.

The new initiative complements digital services already offered by the Zalando platform such as Brand Solutions or Zalando Media Solutions.

"The Zalando platform is an operating system for the fashion world, with multiple ways of integrating all sorts of fashion contributors and stakeholders, catering to their specific needs," explains Jan Bartels, vice president logistics product at Zalando. "It offers not only digital services such as analytics or advertising but from now on also fulfilment solutions and thus, becomes the business strategy for brand and retail partners."

With a logistic network that will soon consist of eight fulfilment centres in five countries, Zalando is piloting new offerings such as same-day delivery, geo-localised delivery or return on demand. Zalando Fulfillment Solutions is currently available in five of the European markets where Zalando's Partner Program is active.

"Zalando has set industry-wide delivery standards and keeps developing innovation for the last mile," adds Bartels. "Moreover, within the last six years, we built up a strong logistics network and gained deep logistics expertise. All of that is now accessible for external partners."

Five partners are already using Zalando Fulfillment Solutions, including Bestseller, Elvi, Evita, Motion Fashion and Surf4Shoes.

Last month, Zalando revealed plans to open its first Nordic fulfilment centre in Sweden later this year as part of a bid to boost and expand its operations in the region.

Zalando to boost Nordic operations