CASE #2 — ZAPPOS.COM 2009:
CLOTHING, CUSTOMER SERVICE, AND COMPANY CULTURE
In 1999, Nick Swinmurn found himself walking through the mall, unable to find the right pair of shoes after visiting a variety of stores. Empty-handed, he went home to search online and found that there was no major online shoe retailer. A few months later, Swinmurn quit his job and started Zappos.com, an online store that carried the latest shoe styles, brands and colors. Over the past decade, Zappos has evolved to become one of the leading online clothing retailers centered on providing superior customer service.
1. Why was Zappos so successful in its first 10 years from 1999-2009? What evidence is presented in …show more content…
This only increased Zappos’ customer service because consumers were able to have their products delivered faster and more efficiently.
By tapping into the clothing market in 2006 (the third ‘C’), Zappos gained an entirely new source of sales. The U.S. clothing market was four times the size of the shoe market at the time, and Zappos took full advantage of the new market segment (Zeithaml, 2013). Zappos partnered with many clothing brands that they had previously done business with, including North Face and Asics. In addition to clothing, Zappos acquired multiple new lines of business: Powered by Zappos, 6pm.com, Private Labels, and Zappos Insight. After the economic recession in 2009, Zappos was forced to lay off 8 percent of its workforce, while relying on a $100 million line of credit. In light of Zappos’ need for new opportunities, on July 22, 2009 Amazon announced that it would buy Zappos for slightly over $900 million including stock options for Zappos employees (Maestri, 2009). Ultimately, Zappos attention to customer service and the superior treatment/training of its employees fueled their growth and success over the past decade, leading to the merger.
2. Analyze Zappos’ success from a Services Marketing Mix Perspective. What specific things did the company do to achieve its success in external marketing, interactive