Amazon.com announced last week that it was buying leading online footwear company Zappos.com. Reading this blog posting from online measurement company Hitwise makes it clear (using site visitation data) that these two companies have a lot in common and a merger makes good business sense:
- Zappos visitors frequent Amazon.com (think about it: both are pure-play shopping sites that focus on a great online interface and an even superior customer service experience)
- Amazon currently sends a lot of traffic to Zappos, according to Hitwise’s data
- Zappos visitors are very similar in age, gender, household income, and location to Amazon shoppers
Zappos has been an all-star in the e-commerce world, receiving rave reviews for the lengths they go to please a customer. Here are two examples of unusually good customer service that have given Zappos this reputation (examples sourced from this blog).
One example is the story of a woman who bought a pair of boots for her husband at Zappos. Sadly, her husband never received the gift as he was killed in a car accident on his way home from work. When the customer called to inquire about the return policy and told the Zappos representative what happened, the Zappos clerk ordered flowers to be sent to her in condolence. The woman shared her Zappos story at her husband’s funeral and you can bet that the 30 friends who heard it are all now Zappos customers.
Another example is that Zappos only lists products on the site that are actually in stock. If a customer calls to ask about a product not currently available, Zappos’ staff will search their competitors’ websites and will then refer the caller to the site that has the requested product readily available.
I wish all online retailers could show this level of interests in pleasing their customers at all costs — a happy customer is a talkative customer!
— Contributed by by Ken Barber