Zalando - Powerful Data Analytics Visualization Tools ... Zalando Zalando now offers an online...

Zalando - Powerful Data Analytics Visualization Tools ... Zalando Zalando now offers an online selection of over 150,000 types of clothing products and shoes for women, men, and children
Zalando - Powerful Data Analytics Visualization Tools ... Zalando Zalando now offers an online selection of over 150,000 types of clothing products and shoes for women, men, and children
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Transcript of Zalando - Powerful Data Analytics Visualization Tools ... Zalando Zalando now offers an online...

  • Company:Zalando

    Zalando now offers an online selection of over 150,000 types of clothing products and shoes for women, men, and

    children as well as accessories and sports gear. This range of

    offerings includes everything from well-known trend brands

    to hot designer labels. Zalando works with over 1,500 brand

    manufacturers. Robert Gentz and David Schneider founded

    the Berlin-based company in 2008 and are already servicing

    15 European markets. To sum it up, the company has gone

    from nothing to 1.8 billion EUR in sales in just five years.

    Yet the companys sense for e-business and fashion trends is just one of its

    many facets. Behind the scenes, high-powered technology is also responsible

    for the companys success: the Zalando Technology department is one

    of the businesss core divisions with over 400 employees in the areas of

    product management, engineering, and quality assurance. Inaddition to the

    shop platform, the team also develops the entire IT platform, the interfaces

    to the individual specialty departments such as purchasing and content

    creation, as well as the whole logistics system. Theteam also happens to do a

    considerable amount of this work on its own.

    Where it makes sense, professional, experienced service providers are

    selectively brought in as strong partners. Zalando significantly benefits

    from their expertise and experience in further developing the company.

    Onesuch partner is the business analytics service provider MicroStrategy,

    whose solution is being implemented at Zalando as a BI front end.

    A detailed look at the companys processes makes it clear just how

    important an analytical tool is for Zalando. Zalandos customers can choose

    from multiple payment methods such as by invoice, by advance payment,

    or by credit card. They are also given a live tracking option to follow their

    order, which in many cases is sent out from the logistics center the very

    same day. Not only are there no shipping costs, but the Internet shop is also

    famous for its free returns.

    As one might imagine, this all produces large volumes of data both

    from customer transactions as well as through communications with

    logistics partners. Zalando also wants to maintain an overview of its

    inventory and suppliers, as well as keep track of its customer relationships

    as a whole. Forthis purpose, the fashion company generates analyses

    and reports, such as on sold items and return rates. We are always

    scrutinizing our processes, measuring our success and efficiency

    CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY: RETAIL

  • based on the value-added chain, and constantly improving as a result.

    Accordingly, business intelligence is pivotal and crucial for Zalando since

    it is one of the key tools, says Eric von Czapiewski, Head of Business

    Intelligence at Zalando. This begins with a comprehensive, high-quality

    database and extends through to high-performance end applications

    and fast analysis processes. This way we make it possible for Zalando

    to reach the next steps in its development and uncover optimization

    potential along the way, von Czapiewski continues.

    While these processes are now perfect, getting them that way was a rough

    journey. One challenge was the subsequent modification of already existing

    reporting processes in the specialty departments and integrating reporting

    and BI solutions into the Internet retailers operational processes. Much of

    this was difficult to comprehend in the follow-up phase, which made it

    accordingly complicated. Ultimately, however, the system has very good

    interactive capabilities for users and gives specialty departments the option

    to quickly integrate their own data into reporting solutions.

    The process for introducing the BI solution was divided into three large

    phases. In the first phase, the Zalando team documented the central

    requirements and analyzed the business processes that were to be

    supported. In the second phase, the core elements of the metadata were

    developed and minor changes were made to the underlying data model.

    Inthe third phase, the metadata were further expanded in short iterations in

    collaboration with the specialty division. The teams additionally generated

    reports and dashboards and gradually expanded them while also verifying

    the correctness of their content and reviewing their technical efficiency.

    Although it was very complex and required additional time and effort

    alongside everyday business activities, the project went smoothly.

    The overarching goal of introducing the BI solution was to give the specialty

    departments a faster decision-making process. This was to be done by

    reducing the number of manual work steps, providing simpler access to

    relevant data, and creating easier, data-supported coordination processes

    with neighboring specialty departments, Eric von Czapiewski says. The BI

    team made this possible by involving the specialty departments early on

    and by working closely together during the entire duration of the project.

    The result is that the fashion retailer can now adapt its product range ad hoc

    to customer preferences thanks to analytical BI, optimize revenue streams,

    and identify future sources of revenue even faster. Zalando is thus la

    mode not only for its customers, but also in-house by getting the most

    benefits out of its use of technology.

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