Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zappos: faster than a speeding brick and mortar

I have nothing against going into stores, but it will usually take me more than a week to actually get myself to said store (except for the grocery store). The advantage of a brick and mortar clothing store is that I can try things on.

Zappos is trying to challenge that advantage and appears to be being successful at it. They usually have things priced at pretty close to list price, the difference is the speed that it appears and they pay for shipping both directions. What a great business model. They actually encourage you to order several items and return the ones you don't want. (They do have to be in new condition so wear them inside first.)

The shoes (they sell other things too) show up amazingly fast the next day even when I order after 5pm. This is to the point that I've started inadvertently testing them out. At 8:45pm last night I ordered a pair of running shoes that I've been putting off buying for a while. At 11pm I got a shipping confirmation (say what? who works then? I guess they do), and at 11am (just over 14 hours) the shoes appeared. That's just astounding. I think about going to the store for longer than that.

I still like going to physical stores as I like to see the selection but this is just amazing.

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