Zalando and Exasol

The key to optimizing the availability of stock

The online retailer, offers customers the chance to purchase more than 150.000 products from about 1.500 brands in 15 European countries with ease – whether on a PC, tablet or smartphone – anywhere and at any time. But an increase in orders and in the various fashion lines available means more and more data being generated more quickly.


Zalando needed to cope with rapid data growth effectively


Exasol’s analytics database integrated into data warehouse as an analytic layer


Real-time info on product availability

By implementing the database, Zalando can now benefit from a higher degree of flexibility. Exasol offers a clear performance advantage, too.

Eric von Czapiewski Head of Business Intelligence at Zalando SE
0 MIL.+

Customers in Europe


products available

0 TB

of memory in several clusters


people visiting webshops in one quarter


Zalando is the rising star in the world of e-commerce. Back in 2008, the sale of footwear and clothing across the web was hard to imagine. Yet, since then Zalando has managed to provide online access to fashionwear for more than 14 million customers across Europe.

In order to streamline transactions with customers, merchants and logistic companies, Zalando needs standardized processes and consistent data on products, inventories, orders, customers and deliveries. Therefore, the analytic database from Exasol has been implemented as a fundamental part of the company’s data warehouse system in order to support the order process and to ensure that Zalando’s customers benefit from an optimal availability of products and apparel.

  • Industry Retail and e-commerce
  • Application BI acceleration
Case study background details

The journey

You can use our analytics database with our private cloud, any public cloud, on premises – or as part of a hybrid deployment.

The challenge

Managing and utilizing data reliably

With roughly 322 million people visiting its webshops in the third quarter of 2014 alone, and with a range of more than 150,000 products available, the German shoe and fashion retailer Zalando perhaps has more experience than any other online mail-order company when it comes to managing and working with large data volumes.

“As a fast-growing business, it has been quite a challenge to manage the increase in data volumes in an effective way,“ explains Eric von Czapiewski, head of business intelligence at Zalando. Back in 2010, he was already looking for a scalable Loading...analytic database that was able to cope with the expected growth of data fast and reliably. Von Czapiewski remembers exactly the problems that arose when running analytics projects in different parts of the business.

The solution

Exasol as an accelerator to enable comprehensive reporting and analytics

“We looked for a database that could be integrated into our data warehouse as an analytic layer that could sit on top. It was important that the solution offered a good price/performance ratio and did not have a lot of administration overhead. With Exasol, we found a solution that met those needs.”

The new system consists of several clusters with 7TBs of memory. Not only did Zalando look at the solution’s scalability features when deciding to implement the database, but it also has to fit in to their architecture and connect effortlessly to existing front-end BI tools they were using. “By implementing the database, Zalando can now benefit from a higher degree of flexibility. Exasol offers a clear performance advantage, too,” says Czapiewski. However, the company not only benefits from short analysis run-times, but also from the freeing-up of resources in various departments such as purchasing, auditing or logistics.

The benefits for zalando

Designing effective repeat order processes

Unlike bricks and mortar shops, e-commerce stores do not have any open and close times. Therefore, sales and stock availability is analyzed while the business is running. Information on product availability has to be retrievable in real-time, so that items that are running low can be reordered at any time. It is here where Exasol helps the online retailer as well in order to make the repeat order process as efficient as possible. Furthermore, the solution supports the company’s CRM. “By using Exasol, our customers now receive exclusive and personalized emails that include specific offers on articles that they are really interested in,” says von Czapiewski.

The future

Designing effective repeat order processes

Zalando is now well equipped for the future of online shopping. Continuous process flows streamline all transactions and render them efficient, and by running online analytics, Zalando can react faster to customer behaviour and adapt the range of products as well as marketing activities accordingly. The online retailer can control revenue flows better and unearth new sources of revenue quickly. In short, Zalando can now look to further growth in data volumes with great confidence.

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