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Think Zappos.com and you think not only of happy customers and happy employees, but also of an e-commerce site that's the poster child of a successful web business.
The architect of all this happiness and success is CEO Tony Hsieh who, in the wake of Zappos recent acquisition by Amazon has penned a book about the rise of his company, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.
We caught up with Hsieh to find out how e-commerce has changed since he founded Zappos 11 years ago, and why companies should be fearless about social media and infusing their organizations with strong corporate values.
Reputations, of course, are difficult to acquire and maintain, but very easy to lose. And for good reason: when something goes wrong, many companies respond in ways that end up tarnishing their reputations. Last week, a costly mistake put Zappos to the test.
Brands are working harder than ever to decide what course to take to engage with their audiences' world and sell more. Many say brands need to evolve, but more signs are showing that a complete rebirth is a better bet.
Zappos has built up a reputation for excellent customer service, and owes much of its success to this. The fact that 75% of its business comes from repeat customers provides convincing evidence of its importance.
I've been asking Jane Judd, who is the senior manager of Zappos' Customer Loyalty Team, and was one of the keynote speakers at the recent Internet Retailing conference, about the company's approach...
Launched at the end of last week, javari.co.uk is Amazon's new standalone site selling footwear and handbags.
The online retail behemoth has been selling shoes on its main site for some time, but launched a dedicated site to attract more brands. I've been taking a closer look at the website...
Is a generic, category-defining domain name worth millions of dollars? To some, it has been. The world was put on notice of that in 1999 when Business.com was bought for a then-record-breaking $7.5m.
Since that time, there have been plenty of seven-figure domain name sales. One of them came last month when Candy.com changed hands for $3m. The seller: Rick Schwartz, one of the best-known domainers. The buyer: G&J Holdings, run by confectionary executives (and cousins) Joe Melville and Greg Balestrieri.
I once had the pleasure of meeting Amazon's Jeff Bezos, a man who is in some dictionaries the very definition of 'Enthusiasm' (with a capital E). He's pretty hard not to like.
So last night when I heard that Amazon had very discreetly negotiated a deal to buy customer-centric Zappos I felt that it was a great fit for both companies. I also happen to think that Amazon has the better deal, with Zappos going for less than one year's revenue (and about 95% of the $930m deal is to be paid in Amazon stock). But it's obviously fantastic for Tony and the rest of the Zappos team. Congratulations all round.
At any rate, Amazon's Jeff Bezos has been explaining why he bought Zappos in a video, in which he also explains "everything he knows" in a series of flipchart 'slides'.
Bezos riffs on customer obsession, something that he says Amazon shares with Zappos, which he says has a "unique culture". On Zappos: "I have a good feeling about how important that culture is to the Zappos brand, employees and customers."
Anyway, here's the video so you can see for yourself. I've added a few others for your viewing pleasure. Bezos FTW!
Zappos.com, an internet retailer that launched in 1999, survived the .com bust and went on to become the number one online footwear seller, has been purchased by Amazon.com in a mostly-stock deal worth over $900m.
Amazon plans to run Zappos as a wholly-owned subsidiary, with its new acquisition maintaining its own branding and separate operations.
Ecommerce is one of the most mature markets online but that doesn't mean that it isn't a dynamic and fast-paced market in which participants need move quick to stay ahead of the curve.
Here are 15 enlightening presentations that can help you do just that.
Offline advertising may be suffering right now, but that doesn’t mean that online brands can’t still profit from it. According to AdWeek, online entities like Zappos, Amazon and Kayak are working with traditional agencies — and advertising — to fatten up their profits. But the thing they still needs to get worked out is how to measure the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns.
Trying to foster more brand awareness and utilize growing budgets, online companies are looking past search and display toward more traditional methods. Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen here, a unit of MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, tells AdWeek that television ads bring "people into the fold that aren't already participating in the category or, if they are already participating in the category, might not be considering your brand. It's much higher up the purchase funnel.”
Retail giant Tesco is set to make a few changes to its website this year; it has already launched an improved wine site and the grocery service is due to be relaunched this summer.
Generally speaking, US retailers seem to have adapted to Twitter more effectively than their UK counterparts, with some great examples of successful engagement with customers on the site.
Dell and Zappos are two firms that have often been given as examples, but there are plenty of others. For example, Threadless has managed to acquire an impressive 90,000 followers on Twitter by running competitions to design T-shirts.
I listed UK retailers on Twitter last week, and it was hard to get a list together, and many of the big names are missing. Creating a US list has been easier, but if I have missed any, let me know...