Zalando has rolled out a supply chain service for retailers selling through its website that will employ its algorithms to predict demand.

The German retailer’s new delivery and returns service, called Zalando Fulfilment Solutions, will be run as a third-party offer separate from its primary ecommerce site.

The service will allow retailers selling through Zalando’s website to have their products stored in and delivered from its warehouses, rather than having to handle the fulfilment of orders themselves.

It is also offering a fast replenishment model within Zalando Fulfilment Solutions, which employs smart algorithms to predict which items need to be replenished regularly to fulfil customer orders quickly.

The service, which has been rolled out in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria and France, has been designed to allow retailers and brands to expand into new territories quickly and improve the online shopping experience for customers.

Zalando has launched the initiative with partners including Vero Moda parent company Bestseller and UK plus-size fashion brand Elvi.

‘Logistics expertise’

Vice president of logistics and product Jan Bartels said: “Zalando has set industry-wide delivery standards and keeps developing innovative offerings and services for the last mile.

“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.

“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.

“It offers not only digital services such as analytics or advertising but, from now on, also fulfilment solutions.”

The fashion retailer, which reported soaring first-quarter sales last month, rolled out a geolocation delivery service in Belgium in April, which allowed shoppers to select where their order is delivered in real time.

Zalando has also upped its stake in retail technology supplier Anatwine, which fulfils orders directly from a retail supplier’s stock when these are out of stock at the partner’s warehouse.