Selling shoes never truly intrigued Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. But investing in the internet retailing business was the best decision Hsieh ever made. Nick Swinmurn first initially offered the onlinea shoe retailing idea in 1999, that no investor would touch initially. But Hsieh (pronounced shay) was intrigued after researching the potential of the market. When Zappos launched, the shoe retail market was a $40 billion industry, and with gross margins on shoes at around 50%, the idea was beginning to become much morevery promising (Gabbey). In addition, the high prices and brand loyalty associated with shoes cause less need for advertising their inventory. When Zappos launched, the shoe retail market was a $40 billion industry. Hsieh quickly got sucked into the idea and invested $500,000 in ShoeSite.com, which changed its name to Zappos shortly after. (they soon changed the name to Zappos, after zapatos, which is Spanish for "shoes"). Six months later, Nick Swinmurn decided to let Hsieh take over the company and left in 2005 (Gabbey).
Since then, Hsieh has driven Zappos to the top of the industry with new, fresh philosophies on how to deliver more value to the customer by capitalizing on customer service. Customer service is Tony Hsieh’s number one priority, and he has created an environment within the company that shares this goal.
Customer service is Tony Hsieh’s number one priority, and he has created an environment within the company that shares this goal. All employees are very familiar with the history of the company. When new recruits get to the headquarters in Las Vegas, they are quickly dropped into a two-hour Zappos history class, which is just a small step in a four-week course on the subject that all employees must attend. Employees are introduced to each milestone the company has reached: 2002, $32 million in gross sales; 2006, the year the company recorded its first... [continues]
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