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Zappos – Fun to say, more fun to buy!

Intro by Skip Cohen

Digging way back into Sarah Petty’s archives, I found this post about Zappos. The post was put up in their early days and it’s probably about the same time I started buying from them myself.

But there are other points about the Zappos model that every business should include in their model. Nick Swinmurn started the company in 1999 and sold it to Amazon in 2006. But, before it was sold, he and his team had already built a reputation for exceptional service.

Excellent service in retail like this was all before Amazon had the consumer penetration they do today. And here’s what made it so amazing:

  • Inventory: They always had what I wanted, and if something wasn’t available, checking in a few days later, it was back in stock.
  • Delivery was incredibly fast – they set the standard that Amazon uses today.
  • Got a problem? They made it easy to handle returns with quick credit for your purchase and the opportunity to re-order.
  • They exceeded expectations every time and were always accessible.

Now, think about your business. Do you have what your target audience is looking for? Do you deliver on time or ahead of schedule? Are you accessible when there’s a problem?

The Internet changed everything in business, especially for photographers. Consumers can choose from thousands of artists. And, if they have a problem that goes unresolved, they also can reach thousands of other consumers with stories about inadequate service.

Listen to your target audience and build a business that’s second to none in exceeding expectations and making yourself habit-forming.

By Sarah Petty

Don’t we all love the web? Things we either can’t find or don’t have time to shop for are now at our doorstep what seems like seconds later. My co-worker told me about Zappos. She said literally one night she ordered shoes at about 6 pm and they were on her doorstep at 10 am the next day. About the only thing faster would be Willie Wonka’s space travel machine. So I tried it and now I too am a Zappos junkie. And if you need to exchange, they send out the new without receiving the old back first. It doesn’t seem like that would be so hard.

To succeed in business, you must make people remember something about you, and make sure it is something great. Are your products faster (Zappos), packaged better (Tiffanys), in a cooler space (Anthropologie) or designed better (Apple).