Zappos: Providing the Best Service Online

You have been eyeing to buy a particular pair of shoes. You go to your favorite shoe shop, but the shoes are not available. It has the right style, but not the right size. So you head to another shoe shop hoping to find the shoes you want.

You come in and the sales associate tells you they have your size and the style you want, but the color’s different. Instinctively, you’d make an effort of heading towards a different outlet and another outlet, only to be told the same thing over.  To make matters worse, you even tried searching online with your last drop of hope, just to find yourself, empty-handed.

In 2018, e-commerce sales accounted for 10% of all retail sales in the US according to Statista.

How Zappos Started

That is the story of Nick Swinmurn, the founder of Zappos. It was in 1999 that he quit his day job and started his online shoe shop called Nick realized when he was doing his shoe search that there was no major retailer that specialized in shoes online. Nick approached Tony Hsieh and Alfred Lin to invest with him. Tony was not convinced until Nick said this, “footwear in the U.S. is a 40 billion dollar market and 5% of that is already being sold by paper mail order catalogs”.

Tony and Alfred invested $2 million in the company and initially called it, They changed the name to, from the Spanish word, Zapatos, which means shoes.

Nick’s initial vision was for shoes only – to have a website that has the best selection in terms of brands, styles, colors, sizes, and width. The brand grew in the next 9 years until the vision was not just for shoes, but for all categories. Zappos wanted to provide the best service online. is an online shoe and clothing shop based in Las Vegas.

Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies

The company moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Henderson, NV in 2004 and in 2009, it debuted at No. 23 on Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For. Eventually, it wasn’t long enough until it reached its highest ranking at No. 6 in the Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2011. It’s no wonder why they landed at that spot because their employees enjoy free lunches, no-charge vending machines, and a full-time life coach on hand., Inc. then joined, Inc. in July 2009. Both companies are successful e-commerce platforms, which strength is having strong customer service. May 1, 2010 was a big day for Zappos. The owners restructured Zappos into ten separate companies under the Zappos Family umbrella.

In 2013, Zappos again moved to its new headquarters at the former Las Vegas City Hall building in downtown Las Vegas, which purpose is to renovate the building. It’s an effort of the CEO to build an area where people can work and play at the same time. This was reported by Las Vegas Sun with the headline, “Zappos views Las Vegas City Hall as perfect fit for new headquarters”. Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman commended the move and said,

“This move will bring about a critical mass of creative persons to the inner core of Las Vegas in addition to causing a significant shot in the arm for the economy and for new jobs.”

Other Ventures

Zappos Insights

This was created in 2009 to help share the Zappos culture – how they created their ten core values, built their culture, and run their business. Zappos Insights believes that any workplace can benefit from identifying and strengthening their own culture and core values. is for those who are patrons of cheap and discounted items. It is the discount retail division of Zappos since 2007. This online retail shop offers thousands of products with great value from a trusted source. They have one physical outlet in Shepherdsville, KY.

Zappos is located where the Las Vegas City Hall was once situated.

Zappos is part of a culture that is unique because it has inspired 10 core values that they live by, which are:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

The company’s success is undeniable because of how it treats its employees and customers. They take care of each other and it reflects on the products and services they offer. They have a wide range of beautiful and reasonable-priced items. It is so convenient because everything you need is available when you shop online with them. Zappos is one great company that Las Vegas is proud to have.


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