Retail Giant Zalando – Leader in Using AI

Retail Giant Zalando – Leader in Using AI

Zalando Outlet is a European online commerce company based in Berlin, Germany. Today, it is the leading online fashion platform serving up to seventeen European markets. One reason the company can provide a personalized user experience to its 27 million customers is the way it uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning.

Zalando uses Algorithmic Fashion Companion (AFC) technology to improve their customer experience. This is a digital outfit recommendation tool that can generate outfit recommendations in real-time. The algorithm’s recommendations analyze the customer’s fashion interests, products that the customer has put in their “wish list,” expressed interest in or purchased before. AFC helps inspire Zalando customers. Statistical reports have shown that outfit recommendations drive 40 percent larger basket sizes. In addition, it was shown that male customers are highly engaged with the recommendation engine. Google marketplace data, fb analytics provide a lot of additional information.  For now, Zalando is working on how to create a similar recommendation engine for its beauty products as well.

Machine Learning to Understand Fashion


Zalando works with specialized teams that include 120 researchers. They focus on helping the company had better understand fashion, which makes a good outfit, and what customers want now.

In future Zalando hopes to be able to provide a personalized boutique experience for every single customer, on an individual level. Costumers tend to search for an article that they have already seen on their loved ones, celebrities on social media. Visual search helps a lot in identifying fashion items by an image.  In addition, Zalando’s Facebook Chabot and the app offer this kind of services. All thanks to the Zalando that works hard on developing learning algorithms for visual search in their system.

Also, Machine learning has certainly a variety of advantages in the fashion industry; even though AI showed its abilities in fashion, there are limitations. AI would face some troubles with modern and ever-changing fashion trends. Additionally, consumers are not always shopping for themselves. Besides, while it gets better over time with more data, Machine learning must analyze all the information at a given moment, which for now is not possible.

A Leader in the Artificial Intelligence Community

shopping bags

Currently, Zalando, with the help of AI and machine learning, is trying to optimize its business operations from supply chains to logistics. The fashion company is by far a leader in AI and retail technologies in Europe. Zalando has employees at the European Commission, where AI policy and many other ethical questions are discussed.

As a result, to increase its influence as a fashion platform, Zalando creates new infrastructures and helps out fashion startups.  Additionally, its main goal is to use technology fairly and to increase supply chain and textile quality transparency.