Zappos Sells More By Encouraging Returns

from the outrunning-the-competition dept

Although it may not get that much hype, Zappos has built up an impressive and successful online shoe retailer. While shipping costs are often the bane of online retailers, Zappos has thrived, not only by offering free shipping, but by offering free return shipping as welll (via Knowledge Problem). Obviously, shipping is expensive, but by subsidizing product returns, the company has removed the risk of buying shoes online. Customers don't have to worry about a pair of shoes not fitting right, because they can always send them back at no cost. In fact, the company approves of customers that buy multiple pairs, just to see which pair fits, while sending the others back. Of course this cuts into its margins to some extent, but the alternative is for customers to buy shoes at traditional stores. The basic lesson is one that plenty of retailers recognize: making it easier to return items will make customers more comfortable with purchasing them. But it's the application of this lesson online, to such an extreme degree, that has separated Zappos from the pack.

Filed Under: ecommerce
Companies: zappos


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  1. identicon
    Malgwyn, 17 Jul 2007 @ 1:41pm

    Made in China, Where?

    How would I determine where the shoes were made, other than buying them? Like almost all mail order, they don't list where items are manufactured.

    I don't buy anything from China and various other countries, as they do not have health and safety laws that control the use of phthalates in them.

    Converse, which used to manufacture it's All Stars in the US, now does so in China and they smell different.

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