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What an Online Shoe Retailer has done to Dominate Their Space (and it has nothing to do with lower prices)
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I recently had the pleasure of visiting the headquarters of Zappos while I was in Vegas for a conference, and I have quite a bit to tell you about the experience. They have done (and are doing) some things there that would blow your mind. The company is popular with online shoppers because they offer free shipping (both ways) and have a reputation of amazing customer service. But exactly WHY they’ve made it to the top of their market goes a little deeper than friendly phone operators.

CEO Tony Hsieh has created a culture that can barely be described as “corporate.” Zappos employees are encouraged to literally pour themselves into what they do — working there becomes an extension of who they are. I won’t go into everything they do here — I’m saving it for the next issue of our Newsmagazine. But I will tell you about their fascinating HR practice that’s a little revolutionary.

Every new hire is put through four weeks of training — two weeks in a classroom learning the history of Zappos and two weeks learning how to answer customer calls. At the end of the training period, every single new hire is offered $2,000 to quit. Paying them to quit saves the company money by weeding out the people who would “jump ship” anyway. The way Zappos sees things, they don’t want someone who would take the money and run. They want people who will stick around and make an indelible mark on their company.

I have a lot more to share with you from my tour of Zappos, so be sure to look for the next issue of our Newsmagzine — the July issue. You’ll be surprised, entertained and inspired by some of the things you’ll read about this online shoe retailer.

2 Comments

  1. Braudis Lee Pegram says:

    Yes, Tony is smart. I contacted him in May after discovering that he was once part of Venture Frogs. I have a client who is the Founder and CEO of buyhollywood.com; and I thought Tony, being also a retailer, could assist me in my quest for additional venture funding but unfortunately he was no longer in the market. I am fascinated by their origins and I am looking forward to reading your view of Zappos in July.

  2. Inis Cohen/Cove Realty says:

    Sounds fascinating and I would love to learn more about Zappos in July. I am a small Broker owned Residentail Real Estate Company struggling to keep alive in this economy.
    Regards,
    Inis Cohen

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