Introduction to Zappos
Have you ever gone to the mall to buy that shoes you have been eyeing for a while now only to come home empty-handed? You walked around the mall, looked for shoes store and probably found the specific shoe design but, alas, it was not in the right color nor in the right size. Frustrating, isn’t it? Especially when you think that shoes, having the power to complete any outfit, would drive more retailers to offer a wide variety of shoe choices, whether in color, size, or design.
If the Shoe Fits
That is exactly what Nick Swinmurn has experienced whenever he went shoe shopping. He would spend how many hours looking for a shoe he could not find even after rummaging stores after stores – it was either in the right color, wrong style, or right style, wrong size. When he went online, the mom-and-pop stores that were selling shoes do not have a comprehensive shoe selection as well.
It was then that an idea of a lifetime struck him. Upon seeing the need for a retailer that specializes solely in shoes, Nick quit his day job and launched a shoe selling website called Shoesite.com. Not wanting to limit the array of merchandise in his shop to shoes alone, Nick opted to change the name to Zappos, which came from the Spanish word zapatos, meaning shoes. Soon enough, Zappos.com went online in 1999.
More to Zappos than Just Shoes
After years of catering the right shoes for everyone, which include reliable shoes from top-selling brands like Nike, Adidas, Nine West, Timberland, and Coach, Zappos was able to expand its offerings. From selling an exceptional assortment of walking friendly flats, classic pumps, and best-selling sneakers among others, the site now also retails on fine pieces of clothing, bags, accessories, eyewear, and lifestyle and beauty products.
Of course, Zappos not only focuses on what it sells. It also prioritizes its customers by making sure that it remains a customer service champion.
The Zappos Experience
With the power of technology, most companies nowadays rely on digital marketing strategies. These companies are confident that their sales increase as their online reach grows. Zappos treads an alternate path from its counterparts – it does little advertisements and offers few discounts from its products. Instead, Zappos’ excellent customer service is its strongest selling point. A sales strategy often overlooked and underestimated, customer service strategy (with the single goal of making the customer happy) is one of the competitive advantages of Zappos.
Zappos’ generous shipping policies to include overnight shipping and full-year free returns, creative customer engagement with its well-trained employees, and strong company culture are all part of its marketing plan to build customer loyalty. Because Zappos does not advertise much, it relies on word of mouth based on its customers’ experience. This is not a problem since Zappos has a group of customers so loyal that they can’t be blinded even by the competitors’ flashy discount sales, and they let the world know about their Zappos experience.
Zappos extends its culture of excellent service by delivering ‘wow’ and spreading happiness to through its community-enriching programs. Primary mission areas of Zappos For Good, its approach to corporate social responsibility, include charitable donations, animal adoption, and sustainability efforts. Through Zappos For Good, shoppers are encouraged to help build their communities by providing business opportunities to low-income residents; by inspiring children to learn by donating clothes, shoes, and school supplies; and to provide a new loving home to a furry friend by participating in sponsored pet adoption initiatives.
Joining the Amazon Family
In November of 2009, Zappos officially became part of the Amazon Family after months of talk starting from its announcement in July. The acquisition, more than allowing Zappos to work with its renowned culture of having happy workforce, aids the shoe company to grow and expand further. In fact, in 2013, Zappos moved its facilities from Henderson, Nevada to the City of Las Vegas.
Zappos has set an international standard in customer service that shoppers expect from a company, and a company culture that companies strive to achieve. With customers that keep on coming back to Zappos despite the availability of other shopping sites, Zappos has proven time and again that its game-changing customer focus philosophy works.