Visibility and consequences: How CXM influences the performance of Zalando partners
The Customer Experience Model (CXM) is a monitoring tool from Zalando that evaluates partner performance at country level. It is designed to ensure that Zalando always offers customers a first-class shopping experience. The evaluation is based on four KPIs that can affect the visibility of items and, in the worst case, can lead to deactivation.
In the following article, you will learn what you need to pay attention to as an affiliate on Zalando to ensure good visibility of your products on Zalando.
The Customer Experience Model (CXM) is a monitoring tool to evaluate and manage partner performance at country level. This is to ensure that Zalando always offers a first-class shopping experience to all customers.
- Zalando Fulfillment Service (ZFS) partners and Connected Retail partners are currently excluded from CXM.
- If a partner sells through both its own fulfillment channel (non-ZFS) and ZFS in a given country (so-called hybrid partners), then only the performance of the non-ZFS channel is included in the CXM performance score.
- CXM applies to partners with more than 100 total orders over a rolling seven-day period.
- The negative consequences of not meeting KPI targets can be a reduction in the visibility of the non-ZFS item assortment in the respective Zalando sales channel or the deactivation of the non-ZFS items.
Partners can monitor their CXM performance in zDirect. The Orders module can be used to navigate to the Customer Experience Model. Here, partners can see their daily performance summary.
This provides an overview of overall CXM performance. The summary is organized by country or channel and lists all of your channels where you use self-fulfillment, your performance on each of the four CXM KPIs, and your current quality assurance (QA) test score:
- Cancellation rate
- On-time delivery (DoT)
- On-target refund (RoT)
- Tracking Coverage (TC)
- QA result
Orders that do not meet order quality requirements may result in the affected country having lower visibility compared to items sold by Zalando Wholesale or other partners with good performance, or being deactivated and non-ZFS items being taken offline.
The values in the Performance Summary are calculated daily over a rolling seven-day period, with an additional three days for data consolidation. The measured and calculated seven-day period is displayed in the upper left corner above the Country and Current Visibility columns.
The seven days measured always ends three days before the date you view your performance. It is updated daily between 00:00 and 05:59 CET. The timeliness indicator shows how long it has been since the KPI was last calculated. This data is usually updated on a daily basis.
This means, for example, that the visibility on August 10 results from the average performance between July 31 and August 6, since the data for August 7, 8 and 9 are not yet available on August 10.
Similarly, the visibility on August 11 results from the average performance during the period from August 1 to August 7, and so on.
This means that visibility can change on a daily basis, e.g. from normal visibility to low visibility, if the average performance in the rolling seven-day review period does not meet the CXM target.
The review period includes rolling seven-day data, beginning on:
- the 31st day after go-live for newly integrated partners, or
- the day of reactivation for active partners after temporary deactivation.
Performance for each KPI is assessed, and depending on whether the target for each KPI is met, the result corresponds to a traffic light:
- Good = Green
- Below average = Yellow
- Poor = Red
Targets are based on the following values:
- Good corresponds to performance that meets Zalando standards, i.e., the partner meets or exceeds the KPI target.
- Substandard corresponds to a performance that is below the Zalando standards. One can see what is considered substandard performance for each KPI by clicking Show KPI Targets.
- Poor corresponds to performance well below Zalando standards.
The combination of performance for each KPI affects the visibility of the item assortment on Zalando catalog pages, and thus how and where customers can see your item assortment.
Summary table of possible results in CXM
What does this mean for new Zalando partners?
Newly integrated partners benefit from normal visibility for a total of 40 days after going live in a sales channel. The 40 days includes a 30-day grace period and ten days for Zalando to consolidate data from the initial rolling seven-day period, plus the usual three days for data verification.
During the 30-day grace period, partner performance is not assessed as part of the daily CXM review, nor does it negatively impact CXM KPI results.
What does this mean for recently reactivated affiliates?
Reactivated affiliates receive normal visibility for ten days from the day the reactivation request is accepted. These ten days include the usual seven-day data assessment period and the three-day consolidation check. Beginning on the 11th day after reactivation, daily CXM KPI assessment and resulting consequences will resume.
Why do I receive email notifications?
If the visibility of any of your sales channels is below normal, you will receive an automated email.
Summary of the CXM process
If you have met or exceeded the KPI target and all requirements have been met in the latest QA test order, the performance is displayed with a white background in the Daily Performance Overview.
In this case, the Current Visibility column says Normal. This means that no action is being taken to reduce the visibility of your item assortment.
If one or two KPIs in a country have been rated below average (highlighted in yellow in the corresponding KPI column in your daily performance overview), the item assortment on the Zalando website will have low visibility for this country. This means that items sold by Zalando Wholesale or partners with a good CXM performance will appear before your items on the Zalando catalog pages.
In the Current Visibility column, Low is listed here, which means that the items have reduced or low visibility in this sales channel.
Affiliates can review which orders contributed to their underperforming or low score by clicking on the Order Performance page.
Customers’ search results are not affected by this low visibility when they search directly for a brand name.
Low visibility plus risk of deactivation
If three KPIs are underperforming (highlighted in yellow) or one to three KPIs are performing poorly (highlighted in red in the corresponding KPI column), the item assortment has lower visibility and is at risk of deactivation.
In the Current Visibility column, you will see Low – Deactivation Risk, which means that the items have low visibility in this sales channel and that the partner has 30 days to improve the underperforming KPIs.
If within these 30 days three of the KPIs remain below average or one of the KPIs is poor, there is an option to request an extension (by clicking on the arrow next to the deactivation risk notification) to notify Zalando that improvement actions have been taken. The extension grants the partner an additional 21 days, allowing Zalando to consolidate the data and monitor the improvement. It should be noted that only one extension request can be made per 30-day period.
If four KPIs in a country are poor (highlighted in red in the corresponding KPI column) or below average (highlighted in yellow) or a combination of both, that country will be deactivated, meaning that all non-ZFS items will be taken offline.
To resume sales after deactivation, an improvement plan and reactivation request must be submitted to and approved by Zalando.
In this case, the Current Visibility column says Deactivated, which means that the items in this sales channel are no longer online.
To be reactivated, a reactivation request must be submitted along with an improvement plan that addresses the underperforming KPIs.
Zalando’s Customer Experience Model (CXM) is an important tool for evaluating partner performance at the country level and ensuring that customers enjoy a first-class shopping experience. The clear structure with four KPIs enables partners to monitor their performance and take action to improve as needed. By continuously reviewing the quality of services, Zalando increases customer satisfaction and further strengthens its position as a leading online retailer.
Patrick is our Head of Retail Media. With many years of experience in selling on marketplaces, he advises you on marketing and content. He also supports you with the right marketplace setup to accelerate the growth of your business. Contact him by mail or by phone at +49 89 215 276 60.