Zappos.Com - the Buying Process

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Kathy A. Curry
Module 3, Assignment 2: LASA 1—The Buying Process
Zappos.com
March 27, 2013

The product/service I have utilized many times is Zappos.com. I have purchased countless pairs of shoes from one of the largest/original online site offering a variety of shoes. Although Zappos currently has a vast line of products, when I began purchasing from them, they were basically a seller of shoes. As with market growth in all aspects of life, Zappos.com has become a seller of many fashion products including: shoes, handbags, accessories, clothing, etc., all associated with the things that create the total look of dressing oneself. But Zappos has gone a step further and added a host of products including home goods, beauty products, and accessories making the once small online shoe store an e-commerce powerhouse.

Zappos has enjoyed a sound reputation for many years with its customer friendly environment, user-friendly site and customer driven buying process. Utilizing Zappos is quick and easy. The site functions very well and has never gone down or out of commission during my shopping experiences.

Zappos’ customer focused environment stemmed from owner /chief executive Tony Hsieh. Hsieh’s goal was to offer impeccable service thus producing customer satisfaction and repeat business with a distinction from the rest. By prioritizing Zappos’ company culture, Hsieh achieved his goal. His objective was to be good to his employees and create a happy and satisfied work team who would in turn create that same happiness for the customers. The incentives he put in place for his service reps ranged from paying 100% of employee health care premiums to investing in his employees’ personal development to creating a laid back work environment unlike a typical call center environment. Not only did he achieve his goal, he did it so well that Zappos took off, became known for its quality customer service, and left the competitions in the dust! And this great customer service converted interested customers into buying customer which converted buying customers into repeat customers. This enabled Zappos to enjoy low marketing expenses – the online site spoke for itself, long term profits – continued customer service kept the money rolling in, and fast growth.

Going to church all the time and being a woman, shoes were a necessity. I would see someone at church or work with new shoes and that triggered my need to have a new pair of shoes. I would buy a dress and told myself I had nothing to go with it so I had to have a new pair of shoes. I would wake up feeling bad and feel like I needed a new pair of shoes. It didn’t really matter what my attitude was, the answer and quick fix was always a pair of shoes. What better place to buy them than Zappos.com. Because I had a love for shoes, I had to find an outlet that gratified and catered to my addiction.

I do not remember how I discovered Zappos.com. I think I simply put ladies shoes in the search engine and Zappos.com came up. I began asking others about Zappos.com. No one in my circle of family, friends and acquaintances knew of the site. As time passed, I began seeing more and more ads for Zappos.com while doing others non-related things on the web. Many times I would take a sidebar moment and click on the ad to see what Zappos.com had to offer. At some point I knew I was an addicted loyal customer and Zappos.com was my site of choice.

Because I was so enamored with Zappos and could not believe how lovely the site was, I wondered if it really was all that or were there others out there just as lovely. I began looking at other online shoe sites. I wanted to know the competition. As hard as I searched, I could not find another online shoe store with the same level of sophistication and high caliber of consumer based offerings.

In the early days of my buying experience, I was leery. I was hesitant when I thought about buying shoes online. The...
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