No, not the virtual buddy. Zappos is definitely holding this principle well and a role model for anyone doing business online.
Zappos is an US-based electronic commerce service established in 1999. It specialize in footwear and then extended its catalog to clothing, bags and accessories. According to the figures revealed, one out of every 40 people in the United States is their customer, and 75% of purchases come from returning customers. Impressive huh?
Why Zappos is so successful? Unlike many other players, it promotes customer-centric benefits such as:
- Free shipping both ways: Zappos promises free shipping within 4 days, but 90% of the customers would be in pleasant surprise to receive their orders on the next business day.
- 365-day return policy: If the shoe does not fit, customers are given a link to print out a prepaid return shipping label.
- 24/7 customer service: The 1-800 number appears prominently in all Zappos web pages allowing customers to call its customer service any time, any day.
You must be wondering how Zappos copes with the shipping cost, right? Zappos has a warehouse in Kentucky, near UPS' world shipping hub. However, shipping alone still cost Zappos $100 million last year and the company didn't turn a profit until 2007.
Of course, there are more competitive edges and values that keep Zappos ahead of its rivals. If you are interested, here are the further readings: