Zalando: marketplace guide
About this guide
This is a ChannelEngine guide on the Berlin-based marketplace Zalando. Here you can find information on how to request a Zalando account, how to configure this marketplace on ChannelEngine, what the specific requirements are, and more.
Table of contents
|Founders||David Schneider, Robert Gentz|
|Area served (orders)||Austria, Belgium, Croatia*, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia*, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Norway*, Poland, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom|
|Monthly visitors||300+ million|
|Commission||a percentage of the sale price, based on the product category and selling price|
|Payment||once per month, at the end of the month|
|Product categories||fashion (accessories, beauty, footwear, kids, lingerie, menswear, womenswear, beachwear)|
|Input language (title + description)||depends on the country|
|Input currency||CHF, DKK, EUR, GBP, NOK, SEK|
|Profile on ChannelEngine||Zalando|
|Marketplace's support page||Zalando technical documentation|
* Only via Zalando fulfillment solutions (ZFS).
The Zalando partner program is invite-only.
If Zalando decides that your products fit with their product range, a sales manager is assigned to you. This is when you can introduce your proposed products to a Zalando integration manager.
The integration manager is in charge of providing you with all the information you need to complete the onboarding. They also explain that the onboarding process is divided in two stages: brand readiness and integration.
During the brand readiness stage, you must provide all the company details and product information needed to sell on Zalando. Examples of these details can be found below:
- Master data sheet
- Size chart
- Know your customer (KYC) process
- The countries you are interested in selling in (this should be included in the contract)
- Logistics providers per country
- Awareness of the VAT policy
- German VAT
- Access to the zDirect portal
- Let Zalando know that you are going to integrate via ChannelEngine, so you can define ChannelEngine as an external technical organization
During the integration stage your products are exported, so Zalando can validate them and you can place a test order – in case you are using your own fulfillment. If this is the case, you must provide additional information for each country where you want to sell.
Once you have activated the Zalando channel within ChannelEngine, Zalando provides you with feedback. This feedback may contain a list of errors, which are detailed on their Artikelstatus-Code-Definitions sheet.
Zalando estimates 28 days for each part of the onboarding process. Once at least 30% of your products have been approved (and the test order for each country you are interested in selling in has been completed), Zalando will activate your account.
Most marketplace have mandatory attributes. You are expected to provide the information to populate these attributes before your registration can be completed. Some of Zalando's mandatory attributes are listed below:
- VAT type
- Age group
- European article number (EAN)
- Partner stock keeping unit (SKU)
- Supplier SKU
- Supplier color
- Silhouette (the category that your product belongs to)
Zalando does not charge any fees, therefore the only cost you have as a Zalando merchant is a commission that varies based on the product category and selling price.
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|Product offers (EAN matching)||Bundles|
|External fulfillment (ZFS)|
|Product variations (sizes/colors)|
* A marketplace that supports sales channels allows merchants to list and sell products across multiple markets (e.g.: countries, regions, and states), all from the same connection.
Settings and configuration
Setting up each marketplace on ChannelEngine follows the same flow, once you add the marketplace:
- Go through the Setup.
- Create a Product selection.
- Complete the Categorization.
- Set up the Mappings: content, offers, and carriers.
- Configure the Pricing: rules and currency conversion.
- Finish the Activation.
- Check the Listed products overview.
To complete the technical connection between zDirect and ChannelEngine, ChannelEngine needs to be selected as the external technical organization within zDirect.
To do that, go to the Technical integrations section of the zDirect portal, click on Add technical partner, and select Existing technical organization. The ID requested is provided by your ChannelEngine customer onboarding specialist.
Once Zalando has connected your contact at ChannelEngine to your account, they can set up the API connection. ChannelEngine then receives the data from the brand readiness stage, which is needed for the mappings.
The connection settings related to the Zalando API are hidden, but there are settings available to you that allow for changes to the connection.
- Has ZFS authorization? - some of the Zalando endpoints are not reachable if you do not have ZFS authorization. If this setting is set to false, ChannelEngine skips those endpoints to prevent errors.
- Countries - select in which countries you want to sell. Note that Zalando needs these countries enabled too, otherwise exporting data or offers results in errors.
- Suppress new products creation - blocks ChannelEngine from submitting new products to Zalando, and pushes only those which already exist in Zalando's database – based on their EAN.
- Ignore price warnings - when enabled, prices are always updated – even when marked as suspicious by Zalando. By default, set to disabled.
- Only use ZFS - specifies if your own fulfillment should be used or if ZFS should be the only one.
Automatically round prices - offers three options for dealing with rounding prices: Don't round prices, Round prices down, Round prices up. This setting is particularly useful if you sell in Hungary, as prices in HUF are only accepted by Zalando if it is a multiple of five.
- E.g.: HUF 285 is accepted, but HUF 284 is not.
- E.g.: if the price is HUF 281.09 and you select Round prices up, the price is automatically rounded up to the closest multiple of five – in this example, HUF 285.
- E.g.: if the price is HUF 281.09 and you select Round prices down, the price is automatically rounded down to HUF 280.
- Retry content export as standalone - enable it to retry the export of failed child products as standalones, if Zalando’s strict policy on content updates forces their related family to reject the child products due to incoherencies in the structure of the family. E.g.: the child was mistakenly created as blue, and you later corrected it to red. If you choose to make use of this setting, contact Zalando to merge whatever products are created as standalones to their respective families. For more information on this setting, check out Why are my products not exported?.
Zalando has a strict list of categories to which you need to map your own categories. If you are unsure of the categories your products belong to, please contact your Zalando integration manager.
Zalando has a list of both required and optional attributes. They review all products in two steps: an automated validation, which checks if all required attributes are present; and a manual validation.
Some of the required fields may not be marked as required within ChannelEngine. Therefore, we always recommend you to either double-check the required fields on Zalando's Silhouettes and available attributes or contact your integration manager to make sure that nothing is missing. Make sure that all fields are mapped correctly before activating the channel to prevent delays during the validation process.
All products (required)
- Export product content - set it to 'yes' to export the product's content to Zalando. Set it to 'no' and the product's content is not exported, and the same applies to the product's family. The default value is 'yes', even if the attribute is left unmapped. This is particularly useful during the initial setup on ChannelEngine, as Zalando does not allow content changes once a product has been exported.
- Brand code - Zalando must approve the brands you are interested in selling. Once you have received their approval, and the API connection has been set up, you are able to map this field. If the API connection has already been set up and you do not see a brand you want to sell, contact your integration manager at Zalando.
- Color code primary - the product's primary color code. Zalando recognizes colors on the parent level. Therefore, it is important to also add the colors on the parent level – and not only on the child level. If the color is not also added to the parent, Zalando rejects the related product.
- Media path 1 - the URL of the product's main image. Note that if your product contains a conformité européenne (CE) marking and you would like to showcase it, it must be visible on the actual product – and not as a standalone image. To see all image requirements, check out Zalando's partner program content and image guides.
- Media sort key 1 - the preferred order in which you want your main image to appear on Zalando. Bear in mind that Zalando has the right to make modifications when necessary to maintain their standards.
- Name - the title of the product.
- Season code - Zalando has strict rules for articles from previous seasons. These articles must include a discount, and Zalando checks if the articles are linked to the correct season. Make sure to let your customers know that they should use the correct seasons. Feel free to share Zalando's Seasonality guide with them, if it is unclear to which season a certain article belongs.
- Size codes - maps the size of the article.
- Size group - Zalando must approve your sizes, according to their Finding your Size Chart. This happens during the brand readiness stage. If you have standard sizes, you may be able to choose from a size code that already exists. Otherwise, Zalando can provide you with a new size code. This size code also needs to be mapped on the grandparent level, as it represents the model of the product – and not the size of the specific EAN. You can work with advanced rules to make sure that the correct sizes are mapped with the correct size code.
- Supplier color - the product's color, according to the manufacturer.
- Target age groups - the product's target audience, grouped by age. E.g.: baby, kid, teen, adult.
- Target genders - the product's target audience, grouped by gender. E.g.: male, female.
All products (optional)
There are dozens of optional content attributes in the All products category. Some of the most important ones are described below:
- Color code secondary - the product's secondary color code.
- Color code tertiary - the product's tertiary color code.
- Description in [language] - although this attribute is marked as optional, mapping it becomes mandatory if you enable the related sales channel (e.g.: if you enable Croatia as a sales channel, Description in HR becomes mandatory). Instead of the actual description of the product, you can populate this attribute with the product's key features.
- Media path 2-9 - the URL of the product's additional images.
- Media sort key 2-9 - the preferred order in which you want your additional images to appear on Zalando. Bear in mind that Zalando has the right to make modifications when necessary to maintain their standards.
Zalando has set a goal to generate 25% of their gross merchandise volume (GMV) by 2023 through the sale of more sustainable products. To have the 'sustainable' label on your products, you must fill out the Materials attribute mentioned above, as well as the following:
- Certification/license number
- Sustainability (label name)
- Testing institute/Certified by
For more information on Zalando's approach to sustainable products, check out How can I promote my more sustainable products on Zalando?.
Category specific (required)
- Outer fabric material: material code 1 - the product's main material, selected from an extensive list of values. E.g.: abaca, jute, true hemp, etc.
- Outer fabric material: material percentage 1 - the relative amount of the related material. E.g.: if a dress is made entirely of cotton, enter 100 (without the percentage symbol).
Fulfillment override [country] - specifies the type of fulfillment you want to use. Zalando's hybrid model supports a mix of ZFS and merchant-fulfilled products. Select your preferred fulfillment method:
- ZFS - all of your products are fulfilled by Zalando. As long as there is ZFS stock for a product, the offer is set to ZFS. Once the Zalando stock is zero, the system switches to merchant stock.
- Merchant - exports merchant stock to Zalando.
- Automatic - prioritizes ZFS fulfillment, but automatically switches to merchant stock if the ZFS stock runs out.
- Price before (re)price rules - the default price to which price rules are applied.
Export to [country] - specifies whether the product should be sold in this country. There are three options:
- No - the product is shown in that country, but with stock equal to zero.
- No (block offer) - the product is not shown in that country at all.
- Yes - the product is shown in that country as available.
- Price [country] in EUR - select the price fields for this country. Bear in mind that you cannot use the same price field for euros and for Swedish crowns, for example, as the value will be exported exactly as it is marked there. If you use the same price field for different currencies, Zalando rejects one of the prices as the currency difference is too high.
Promo price [country] in EUR - select the promotional price for this country. Keep the currency in mind. If you add a value to the Promo price, the discount is shown on Zalando. If you add a value to the Zalando attribute: Promo price in [country], the discount is shown on Zalando.
If you use a price rule to calculate a discounted price, make sure to also create a new price rule output and map this field to Zalando's Promo price attribute. If you use a price rule and do not map the price field to the Promo price field, the discounted price is not shown.
- Stock [country] - select the stock. Bear in mind that, even if you use ZFS, you must add a fictitious stock value to this field so products can be validated. Make sure that there is at least some stock for the articles you want to sell. As soon as the stock hits zero, onboarding does not proceed with the article. For more information on stock, check out Zalando's Size and Stock Requirements.
Unlike most other marketplace channels, there is no carrier mapping option for Zalando.
EU Omnibus Directive
From 28 May 2022, Zalando's price display is in line with the new requirements coming with the EU Omnibus Directive. As well as a clearer and more consistent display, the lowest price offered within the last 30 days is shown to potential buyers – when applicable. For more information on this, check out The EU Omnibus Directive and what it means for you article on Zalando.
Republished with permission from Zalando.
Price formatting requirements in the Czech Republic and Hungary
As the Czech koruna and the Hungarian forint do not have subunits, Zalando enforces the following price validation rules in those markets:
- Prices with subunits that have an ending other than .00 (e.g.: CZK 799.05 or HUF 19495.10) are blocked both in the Czech Republic and in Hungary.
- Prices that are not a multiple of 5 (e.g.: HUF 19499.00 or HUF 7899.00) are blocked in Hungary.
Values that do not comply with those requirements trigger a validation message – and block the related offer from being exported.
If you have problems with products not appearing on Zalando, check the Listed products section on ChannelEngine or Zalando's zDirect portal for more information.
While the Listed product section itself only shows short error descriptions, more detailed information can be found under Validation and feedback. If you still require more information, please contact your Zalando integration manager.
Order extra data items
When an order is imported to ChannelEngine, ChannelEngine also fetches extra data items related to the order itself – or to order lines. This extra data is specific to this marketplace. An explanation of each can be found below:
Order extra data
||Yes||The date and time of uploaded invoices.|
||No||Order id of the channel order.|
||No||Order number of the channel order.|
||No||Locale of the channel order as a country code.|
||No||Sales channel id from the channel order.|
||Yes||Name of the service point selected for pick-up point delivery, if applicable to the channel order.|
||Yes||The id associated with the service point selected for pick-up point delivery, if applicable.|
||Yes||The service point member id associated with the service point selected for pick-up point delivery, if applicable.|
||Yes||The value is
* Conditional fields only display if the channel provided a value.
Why are my products not appearing on Zalando?
There are a few reasons that may cause this behavior. As Zalando performs manual checks of each product submitted, some of your products could be under review or even rejected. Check the status of your product on Zalando's zDirect portal. It can take a couple of days for products that have passed the validation phase to be online. Bear in mind that, once you activate a new product, it does not appear instantly. Other causes may include:
- Grandparents are missing the size codes. Without the size code on the grandparent level, products are not validated by Zalando.
- Grandparents are missing the categories. Categories should be provided on the grandparent level for the products to go live.
- Parents are missing the colors. If the color is not provided on the parent level, products are not validated by Zalando.
- EAN is missing the grandparent-parent-child setup.
- Required fields are missing. Check Zalando's Silhouettes and available attributes to ensure that all required fields are mapped.
- If you upload new products, you need to meet the stock requirements. E.g.: if you are going to sell new shoes on Zalando, you need to provide at least five sizes of each EAN. More information regarding stock can be found on Zalando's Size and Stock Requirements.
Why does my product have the status 'Valid offer is missing'?
Zalando only allows offers for products that are accepted. ChannelEngine must wait for Zalando's acceptance, so there may be a short delay.
How do I know from what country each order comes from?
Zalando refers to sales channels by unique IDs, which are paired with country codes and displayed on the ChannelEngine interface under Extra information in the Order details, and under ExtraData in the ChannelEngine API. In the example response shown below, the order's ChannelOrderSalesChannelId is ca9d5f22-2a1b-4799-b3b7-83f47c191489, that corresponds to Poland. The country code is also mentioned in the response, the value of ChannelOrderCountryCode is pl-PL.
If you are not familiar with the ISO 3166-2 standard, you can check out Zalando's Sales channels overview page to find out what country code is linked to what country.
"ChannelOrderSalesChannelId": "ca9d5f22-2a1b-4799-b3b7-83f47c191489", "ChannelOrderTransitionsInfo_1": "Status 'initial' by 'system' at 9/1/2021 12:33:24 +02:00",
"ChannelOrderTransitionsInfo_2": "Status 'approved' by 'system' at 9/1/2021 14:34:56 +02:00",
"ChannelOrderTransitionsInfo_3": "Status'fulfilled' by 'system' at 9/2/2021 04:14:43 +02:00" }
Is it possible to use ZFS and my own fulfillment system simultaneously?
Yes, that is possible. However, this feature is in beta and, as such, it must be manually enabled under the Advanced settings of the Setup section. It is recommended that you refrain from using it until it is out of beta.
What does ZFS offerable and ZFS non-offerable mean?
Zalando divides stock indications into two types. Both stock types are available on ChannelEngine:
- Offerable - the stock in a Zalando warehouse that is currently available for sale.
Non-offerable - the stock managed by Zalando but not available for sale. The warehouse does not have the items because they are:
In picking/packing/clarification - items that are on their way to the customer, on their way back to the warehouse because of a return, or getting ready to be sent back to a partner because of a return-to-merchant order.
In transit - items that are in the process of being relocated between Zalando warehouses.
What does Zalando (ZFS) total stock indicate?
The value displayed in Zalando (ZFS) total stock is for administrative purposes only. It comes from Zalando directly and represents the combined amount of your ZFS stock locations. ChannelEngine does not apply any calculations to it.
Why am I not able to accept returns older than one year on Zalando?
Zalando automatically closes orders older than one year. As handling a return requires changes in the order – and closed orders cannot be changed –, it is not possible to do so if the original order is older than one year.
Why am I receiving the error message "Product creation suppressed by user settings"?
You may receive this error if you have enabled the option to suppress new product creation in the advanced settings of your Zalando channel in ChannelEngine. More information can be found in the following article: Zalando: common errors.