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Zalando invests in machine learning to drive next generation ecommerce

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Zalando, Europe’s largest online fashion and lifestyle platform, is making a push to drive online customer experience, rolling out better, more personalised experiences, improving supply chain management, pricing, marketing and customer care as it embraces advanced machine learning.

Zalando, which has more than 35 million customers across 17 countries, says it will use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) machine learning services to offer a more personalised online shopping experience – as well as enable it to continuously improve the customer experience by reducing the time it takes to design, launch and scale new features for its e-commerce platform.

Zalando will also use machine learning to offer more personalised recommendations based on style preferences or a brand’s ethical practices, predict when items are in-stock for more accurate package delivery and return times, and forecast real-time availability of the latest fashion trends.

The retailer is also planning to create digital avatars that allow customers to virtually try on clothes, and delivering a customer experience that enables shoppers to see which outfits fit them best without trying them on physically.

Zalando’s engineering teams will also increasingly use customer purchase data to create personalised shopping features like individual product and size recommendations and to predict a customer’s future outfit preferences.

Zalando is also set to use AWS to drive operational efficiencies and track business performance in near real-time with data and insights.

“Working with AWS, we’ve created a next-generation machine learning platform that enables all of our data scientists and developers to collaborate better and work more efficiently with teams across the company,” says Rodrigue Schaefer, Vice President Digital Foundation at Zalando. “This platform is enabling us to continuously improve the customer experience by rapidly reducing the time it takes to design and implement state-of-the-art personalization tools and new product features. From better stock management to a quicker returns process, we’ve also used a range of additional AWS services to drive operational efficiencies at all stages of the customer journey.”

“As one of the largest online retailers in Germany and Europe, it is exciting to see Zalando go all-in on AWS for its machine learning provider to support their growth and innovation strategy. With millions of customers across Europe, Zalando is a great example of a company that is using machine learning to build, test, and introduce new and more personalized features at scale,” adds Klaus Bürg, General Manager for Amazon Web Services EMEA SARL in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. “By using the full portfolio of AWS in conjunction with machine learning, Zalando will become a more data-driven, flexible, and scalable organization that leverages customer insights to reimagine the online shopping experience.”

Set up in 2006, AWS is widely credited as pioneering mainstream use of cloud computing for businesses and currently its servers run around 45% of the world’s cloud computing services. The business, while less high profile than Amazon’s web shop, is vital to the company and is its most profitable arm.

At the time of writing, however, AWS was in the grip of a major outage that took down some services, including Adobe, streaming service Roku and The Washington Post newspaper. 

“We are actively working toward full recovery for all affected services, and will continue to provide updates regularly as we have new information to share,” Amazon wrote on the update page for the AWS incident, which appears to be linked to a series of Amazon facilities in northern Virginia.

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