What is Zappos Marketing Strategy
In summary, it must be said that it is difficult to reproduce the impression that the insights leave on Zappos. In any case, a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of ideas for optimizing your own company environment stick after you have done the Zappos tour. The book “Delivering Happiness” and the Zappos Culture Book should be understood as compulsory reading for every manager. Even if not all ideas, concepts and approaches from Zappos can be transferred to Germany or any company, you definitely take some very interesting food for thought with you.
We conducted a short interview with Kelly Wolske, Senior Trainer at Zappos.com, part of the Zappos family since 2008 and part of the training team since 2009:
eStrategy: When was Zappos founded and how did the idea of selling shoes on the web come about?
Kelly Wolske: Zappos was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn. The starting point was a rather banal situation. Nick was looking for special shoes, but he couldn't find them anywhere. He then also began researching the web and found that there was no online shoe retailer at the time. Basically, Zappos was born when Nick saw a business opportunity and took full risk here.
eStrategy: What were the biggest challenges in the past and how were they mastered?
Kelly Wolske: Especially in the early days, the biggest challenge was to convince brand manufacturers to sell their goods to a young, unknown company that also only sold via the web. We then tried to build a relationship with our suppliers that was as open as possible and, especially in the early days, invested a lot of time and passion in order to create a fair, honest and partnership-based basis. We gradually succeeded in convincing brand manufacturers of our approach and the first successes confirmed the correctness and potential of our idea. To this day, nothing has changed in this basic approach. Our approach is still to build and maintain an honest relationship with our employees, customers and suppliers. Everyone who comes into contact with Zappos should feel part of the Zappos family.
eStrategy: What has been the greatest success so far in the e-commerce environment and why?
Kelly Wolske: One of the most sustainable decisions was to integrate product videos into our online shop. Our customers simply love to see products on “real people”, who also present and explain the product. For us it was a kind of “eye opener”, because product videos like this come into play with the human and personal component that is often missing in online retail.
eStrategy: What would your answer be if a newcomer to online business asked you about the three most important components for success on the web?
Kelly Wolske: Success has a lot to do with passion. In this respect, you should deal with things that you like to do and that, in case of doubt, you would do without money for the time being. You should also think carefully about your core competencies. What can you do better than others? Under no circumstances should you outsource these core competencies, as no one else can and will do these things as well as you. On the other hand, you should also be clear in advance about what you are not particularly good at. Do not waste your energy on these things, but try to find people or companies here who are particularly good at these things and work together with such specialists.
eStrategy: In your opinion, what are the three biggest trends in e-commerce at the moment?
Kelly Wolske: The answer will certainly not surprise you, as these are the topics that the entire industry is talking about: mobile web, the integration of social components and user-generated content.
eStrategy: Zappos was acquired by Amazon in 2009. What were the biggest challenges in the course of this takeover?
Kelly Wolske: Basically, one can say that the takeover of Amazon has not changed that much - with the exception of additional reports, etc. We still do "our thing" for the most part. But since June 2012 there has been a more far-reaching change. Our complete fulfillment was - which makes perfect sense - gradually transferred to Amazon. Since the subject of delivery service and quality is one of our central assets, this was and is certainly one of the greatest challenges.
eStrategy: A few years ago SEO and SEM were very important buzz words. Nowadays, user experience optimization and usability optimization have taken their place. How does Zapppos rate the whole thing and what are their approaches to further improve customer satisfaction.
Kelly Wolske: To put it simply, we do everything we can to ensure that our customers get the best online shopping experience at Zappos. Since the majority of our customers are regular customers, we know the wishes and ideas of our customers very well and are constantly trying to work on ourselves in order to get closer to the optimal user experience - in all areas of shopping.
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