Zando is the place to visit if you are looking for choice, convenience and fashion that is on trend.
Based in Cape Town, Online fashion retailer Zando launched in January 2012 with over 200 local and international fashion brands. Zando has kept growing and is now the most comprehensive online international and local fashion brands retailer in South Africa.
Zando is part of the Africa Internet Group (AIG), with investors such as Rocket Internet AG, Milicom and MTN.
Zando has a large range for men, women and children with categories including shoes, clothing , maternity, accessories, sports, grooming, home-ware and decor. This range covers literally hundreds of top local and international brands like Nike, Puma, Soviet, Bronx. Those are pretty poor examples BTW, the list of brands is so long that the brands index page on their site makes your scroll finger ache.
As far as the site goes, the homepage follows the familiar “storefront” approach to draw you in, and pages have lots of clear images of products. The search options in the sidebar allow you to sort items by for instance, category, brand and price. The layout and text is easy to follow but your scroll finger will weep. Clicking individual items brings up detailed descriptions and suggestions for matching gear (clever!). Not too difficult to navigate but also not simple.
Prices tend towards higher end than bricks-and-mortar shops, but this can be offset by the range and convenience of shopping on Zando. This is very much like Exclusive Books in that it may be slightly more expensive, but the huge range means you will find items that you are unlikely to find elsewhere, without a lot of effort.
You need to sign-up for a Zando account but this is quick and easy. You can sign-in with Facebook or by filling in a few details. During the process you are offered a choice of whether to opt-in to the newsletter. If you opt-out, you get a pop-up prompt that you have to deal with. You are promised “up to R200 off your next order” to opt-in, but given that Zando loves fine print, I wouldn’t get too excited.
A nice feature is that, once you are signed in, you can custom create gift vouchers to give to your friends.
The ordering system is the familiar and easy to use wishlist, cart and checkout with order and delivery tracking options. Delivery costs are automatically added so no surprises, and you can also enter any voucher codes at checkout. Payment is by VISA and Mastercard debit and credit cards, EFT, C.O.D., eBucks or Pay@
Zando promises courier delivery to your door and free delivery on all orders above R250. Something unique to Zando though is that they have a series of delivery options such as Click and Collect orders (which are delivered to a selected Postnet branch), 3 Hour Delivery, Next Day Delivery, 2Day Express Delivery and Standard Delivery.
The different delivery options are subject to quiet a few T&C’s, are not available in all areas, AND cost more than standard delivery but there you are. In any event, with standard delivery you are promised delivery within 3 working days for main city centers and within 5 working days for outlying area. That is except for “Zando Fashion Marketplace” items which may take a few days longer to ship as they are sourced from the seller upon order. These orders are usually delivered within 5-7 working days. As I mentioned before, everything with Zando has a lot of fine print.
Returns are managed through an online returns form and are free within 14 days of delivery. That means that they pay the cost of retrieving the item and replacing it. Just like my friends at Takealot.
Zando has given a lot of thought to service, and their FAQ’s are clearer and more comprehensive than some online stores. They also have the Zando Help Center with all the details for contacting them, and several quick-help buttons covering the most requested help items.
Unfortunately it looks like you’ll need that help center as there are lots of complaints about service on hellopeter, many which get a generic response from Zando.
Overall it is easy to see why Zando has attracted a huge online following. They carry a huge range for the fashion conscious at prices that you would expect to pay in upmarket/trendy shops. Given that you will be able to get items from anywhere in South Africa and that you can do your browsing online is a big plus. Zando follows the standard pattern for online stores with a neat site with decent navigation. For me they fall down by having way too much fine print, exceptions and qualifications and that also seems to be where their service ends up tripping over it’s own feet. The returns policy allays some of the fear of choosing the wrong size because you can’t try on the item.