– Zalando doubles down on solving fashion industry’s key challenge of size and fit
– Further strengthens its tech capabilities for best-in-class customer experience
– Lays the foundation for a Zurich tech hub
BERLIN: Zalando SE, Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, on 16 October, makes another strategic investment in the customer experience by acquiring the Zurich-based software company Fision. Leveraging state of the art computer vision technology, Fision’s innovative body scanning app and virtual dressing room help consumers easily see how a garment would fit on their body.
Over the past four years, Zalando has dedicated great talent and focus to solving one of the biggest challenges the fashion industry faces: helping customers find the right fit the first time. Sizing systems across categories, regions, and brands vary dramatically, creating confusion and unnecessary returns for customers. Today, Zalando helps them navigate this complexity by using purchase and returns history to provide size advice on 50 percent of all items ordered. Incorporating Fision’s innovative technology into the Zalando platform will take size advice to the next level: from one based on fit feedback and garment measurements to one that is more personalized using both garment and body measurements.
The acquisition of Fision is part of Zalando’s ongoing commitment to continuously invest in cutting edge technology targeted at solving customers’ most pressing problems.
“We are constantly on the lookout for new teams and technologies that can help us provide the best experience to our customers along their entire fashion journey,” says Jim Freeman, Zalando’s Chief Technology Officer, “We will continue to invest in strengthening Zalando’s tech capabilities in order to propel us on our path to become the starting point for millions of fashion customers across Europe.”
Solving the inherently very personal but prevalent problem of size and fit represents huge potential to transform fashion e-commerce for the benefit of both customers and brands. Customers will be able to generate precise body measurements which they can use to receive even more accurate size advice, and purchase items they know will fit. Brands, for the first time, can gain a deeper understanding of how well their assortment addresses the size and fit needs of a target audience which in the long run will enable them to produce better fitting garments. “Integrating unique and complementary capabilities of Fision and Zalando is a win-win for customers and our brand partners,” comments Stacia Carr, Zalando’s Director of Engineering – Size and Fit, “Customers will get size advice earlier in their relationship with Zalando. At the same time, we can create a feedback loop between brands and consumers designed to drive customer loyalty and in the long run reduce waste.”
“We are excited to be joining forces with Zalando today,” adds Ferdinand Metzler, CEO and founder of Fision, “We share a vision for a customer-centric and sustainable fashion industry and look forward to scaling our combined know-how to over 34 million Zalando customers.”
The Fision team will continue to be based in Zurich while fully integrating with Zalando. The investment underscores Zalando’s commitment to one of its key markets, Switzerland, ahead of celebrating the 10th anniversary there next year. It opens up an additional talent venue in Zurich – one of Europe’s technology hotspots. Zalando’s ambition is to build up a new tech hub in Zurich, growing the site to 150+ jobs over time.
Ferdinand Metzler’s message on LinkedIn
Zalando is Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to more than 34 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation and interaction. As Europe’s most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our goal is to become the starting point for fashion.
Fision AG has developed technologies that generate accurate 3D virtual bodies and clothing models on their platform meepl. Using a technology-first approach to apply the latest insights in the fields of computer vision, AI and data science, Fision has developed services tailored to the apparel industry such as Size Recommendation, Virtual Dressing Room and Made to Measure. Fision AG was founded by a team of ETH Zurich graduates in engineering with the vision to enhance the customer journey of online shoppers and to reduce the cycle of waste in the industry.