Return experience – Zalando


My close to 5 years journey in the number one fashion e-commerce platform of Europe started with a complete overhaul of the post purchase experience of Zalando.

Customer problem:

My mission was to reduce the apprehension associated with online shopping, by redesigning the return experience, so that our customers can shop more confidently. However, achieving that would have caused quite a significant increase in return rate affecting our fulfillment cost. I had to come up with a solution that would provide our customers peace of mind that they are not stuck with wrong choices, but also ensure the business and environmental impact is minimal. It was a marriage between qualitative and quantitative research that translated into design solutions that created huge customer satisfaction while generating positive business impact.


I started working with number of product owners, data scientists and engineers from sizing, sustainability, payments, content and logistics teams to understand the current customer problem from various angles. Our NPS scores also showed that Zalando is one of the most trusted fashion e-commerce platforms because customers liked the simplicity of our offline return process in Germany. After understanding the problem space, I challenged the status quo and the desire of the stakeholders to create a fully online return experience. I hosted a design sprint, where I asked all the participants to think and play from a completely opposite point of view, i.e. to go fully offline. This helped us identify the business problems associated with Zalando’s (then) current return experience even better. Later in the sprint we set the focus on how to incentivize our customers to announce returns online and how do we educate them that this process exists on our platform. Some very interesting ideas came up from the crazy 8 sketching session and based on the votes we further explored those ideas and tested with users. In the end return bundling is something customers really understood and loved so we launched it in Q2 2019.


In Q4 2019 the new return bundling process reported a total savings of 6.9M € and reduced the returned packages by 1.9M which contributed towards the CO2 offsetting by a huge amount.

Zalando SE
August 2017 – December 2019 | Team size – variable

What I did

  • Design sprint
  • Stakeholder management
  • Ideation sessions
  • Wireframe
  • Visual design
  • Usability testing