Friday, May 16, 2008

Zappos is Branching Out!

I've been following Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh on Twitter for awhile now and I'm fascinated by the way Zappos does business.

They've taken a page from the Amazon playbook (except they aren't a discounter) and decided they would make their Customer Experience the ultimate online shopping experience. IMO, the company would be an excellent case study on Building a Retail Brand. Their catch phrase is "We are a service company that happens to sell"

Zappos was founded in 1999 as an online shoe retailer and has grown to over $1 billion in sales in the last 8 years. They are now expanding into additional categories with a new updated web experience at (Zeta being a play on the traditional geek speak of Beta)

What is interesting, is that Tony visited eBay several weeks ago to meet with Senior management and explain how they view the customer experience. But in speaking with him (via email and twitter) I don't see Zappos making there way to eBay to sell their product.

Zappos, really isn't a brand that would benefit from an association with eBay.

Here is an interesting interview of CEO Tony Hsieh, discussing their use of Twitter as a viral marketing tool.


David Wombacher The Camera Hunter thecamerahunter camerahunter said...

Intersting information. I would think that Zappos would jump at the opportunity to sell on ebay if given a "corporate" deal as thy are calling t these days. After all ebay is the largest ecommerce site in the world. Why would anyone pass on a "corporate " deal? Aren't we all in business to sell stuff? Shouldn't we be where the buyers are?

Thank you,

David Wombacher The Camera Hunter thecamerahunter camerahunter

Anonymous said...

No, because associating with eBay doesn't necessarily help your image. If anything, it may cheapen it. In fact, this is probably the only big reason why you don't see more large retailers & manufacturers selling on eBay.

We are all in business to sell, but just because we can sell in every channel, this does not mean it would be a good idea in the long run. In fact many manufacturers have specific "non-eBay" clauses that retailers must abide by if they wish to sell their products.

Randy Smythe said...

I agree with Annonymous. eBay is considered a discount channel so manufacturers and large retailers don't want to see their pricing get hammered.

This is a problem eBay will not be able to fix, at least not with any of the changes they are making.