Zalando introduces a minimum order value for free shipping. The group justifies the step with the changed buying behavior.

NRW – Anyone who likes to order shoes, fashion and cosmetics via Zalando has to be prepared for an important innovation. Unlike in other countries, in Germany you could previously have smaller orders delivered free of charge or send them back for returns – but Zalando is planning drastic changes in this regard.

Zalando: So far, shipping of fashion goods in Germany has been free of charge

According to the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), Zalando delivery has always been free for online shoppers, regardless of the order quantity. But now the largest fashion mail order company in Europe is charging shipping costs for smaller orders.

If you buy goods from Zalando below the minimum order value of 24.90 euros, you have to pay additional shipping costs of 4.90 euros. If the value of the purchase is higher, shipping remains free. According to the RND, the regulation does not apply to Zalando Plus members, for whom every delivery remains free.

Zalando isn’t the only online giant making changes. The entire digital industry seems to be in upheaval. Another retailer has even decided to give up its branches entirely and only focus on online trading.

Zalando: Minimum order value for free shipping is 24.90 euros

However, returns are still free within 100 days, provided that orders are returned in full and the purchase amount was less than 24.90 euros. In this case, the delivery fee paid will be refunded, the company explains on its website.

According to Zalando, the introduction of a minimum order value of 24.90 euros, which has long been introduced at different levels by other industry giants such as H&M, is related to the changed purchasing behavior of customers. According to the RND, more and more people are shopping online via smartphone.


Zalando: Introduction of the minimum order value due to changed purchasing behavior

As a result, they are increasingly making smaller, low-priced purchases instead of collecting items in their shopping carts and then ordering them at a later date, a Zalando spokeswoman explains to RND. The trend towards shopping via smartphone is indeed unmistakable.

In 2021, according to the industry association of the German information and telecommunications industry bitcom e.V., the smartphone has become the most popular shopping device. In the meantime, 6 out of 10 people (60%) used their cell phones when shopping online.

Zalando: Fashion giant wants bundled purchases instead of small orders

Zalando apparently wants to make many small and, as in the past, free deliveries less tempting for its customers with the introduction of the minimum order value. Instead, they want to get customers to make larger, bundled purchases.

The aim of the fashion giant is to sensitize customers to order as little as possible and to bundle purchase projects as best as possible, explains a spokesman for the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order (BEVH) to the RND. This would reduce shipping traffic (more digital news at free shipping).

Zalando: Loss of almost 52 million euros in the first quarter of 2022

In his opinion, the vast majority of the introduction of the minimum order value at Zalando is not affected anyway. After all, most of the shopping baskets exceeded the limit of 24.90 euros at the end of a shopping tour.

The RND interprets the introduction of the minimum order value as an attempt to counter the waning desire to buy and the Zalando share that has slipped. According to the Handelsblatt, the group had to record an adjusted operating loss of almost 52 million euros between January and March 2022.

It is even the first drop in sales since the company was founded. In times of corona easing and the elimination of the obligation to wear masks, when customers are increasingly visiting the city centers again when the weather is nice, online trade would also face stronger competition again.

Zalando: Minimum order value free of shipping costs long established in other countries

The introduction of postage for small purchases is already common practice in other countries such as France. With the introduction of the minimum order value, both the average shopping basket size and the profit contribution increased, a company spokeswoman explained to the RND.

So the desired effect with the minimum order value occurred there, which the group is now hoping for in this country as well. Germany is thus one of the 25 countries in which Zalando is active and where the minimum order value for free shipping was introduced.

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