How VF teams up with Zalando to reimagine digital 
 

With digital acceleration at an all-time high in the fashion industry, we’re sitting down with our partners to dive deeper into what it means to go digital in the current industry climate, as well as tips, insights and pitfalls to avoid for brands on the journey. Our VP Category Men Andreas Roedl sat down with Martino Scabbia Guerrini, Group President EMEA, at VF to discuss what VF has learnt on its digital journey. Watch the video and read the interview below.

“The ownership of the customer journey, being digital-first and digital end-to-end, I call this design to consumers, an unfiltered approach of designing on the platforms and directly speaking to consumers”

VF’s digital journey and partnership with Zalando


  • VF and Zalando are celebrating seven years of partnership together. According to VF, when they joined the Zalando platform, their concerns were about learning what it means to be a digitally native company and getting the most out of operating on a technology platform. Equally important for VF was learning through the business and through the brands.

 

  • For VF, partnering with Zalando also marked the beginning of their digital journey, the most important part of which is happening right now. Martino describes VF as a “purpose-led” company seeking to really make a commitment to sustainability, active lifestyles, and the betterment of the planet and people. 

Brands must dance with consumers, they lead the way but consumers are equally part of the dance, and they co-create by sending feedback about what is important for them."

The top three success factors in digital transformation

  • Martino Scabbia Guerrini shares with us his top three success factors in digitalization: Shifting from a traditional wholesale mentality to a more customer-centric approach, moving away from brick & mortar, and aligning your business model to function as one organizational framework.

 

  • On the importance of leaving old legacies behind, Martino stresses that company size and age bring advantages and disadvantages that can be leveraged depending on the context. He mentions that some of VF’s smaller brands are digitizing much faster than bigger brands because they don’t have a big footprint from the past. 

I believe we have to follow consumers anywhere they are and keep following them through the pandemic and beyond. We need to make sure that great product experience, great brand content are supported by availability.”

How to drive sustainability and meaningful growth

  • For VF, there are two major aspects to meaningful growth: People and environment. Particularly in light of the pandemic, VF put the safety of its employees front and center.

 

  • Martino describes the impact of the Coronavirus on business as a shortcut into the future for VF, in that they achieved what had been planned for the coming three years, over a short 6 months. How did they do it? A twofold approach: Organizational shifting and technology investments. 

 

  • Contributing to a more inclusive economy and industry, science-based targets in terms of the environment, and a more empathic approach to helping society are all aspects of VF’s commitment to meaningful growth – beginning with the communities in which they operate. 

 

  • Connected Retail helped VF to create meaningful growth in its focus on customer-centricity, availability and investing in the channels that are performing. In other words: Following customers wherever they go and meeting them exactly where they are.