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Zappos Milestone: Vendors Sound Off

Vendors weigh in on how Zappos is raising the bar for online retail.

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Michael Greenberg

Photo By Courtesy Photo

“Zappos thinks outside the box more than anyone I have ever dealt with. Their corporate culture can only be truly experienced by visiting their offices, but they integrate this culture in their Website. They are creative and unconventional in their marketing, customer service and business model. I am always reminded of this when I am traveling: Zappos’ name pops up at airport security bins and luggage carousels around the world. They also take customer service to the next level — processing orders for next-day delivery and helping customers find pizza places that will deliver late at night, or sending flowers to a customer who just faced a crisis. This stems from a passion that runs through the entire company.”
Michael Greenberg,
President, Skechers

“Zappos is about the future, but they’re so concerned with the customer today and how they can treat that customer. There is a whole new evolution with what they have done. They’ve opened up the gates for others. I take my hat off to them. They’re very clever.”
Donald Pliner,
Founder & Designer, Donald J Pliner

“They remain the best in terms of how the site operates and their focus on service. They were the first to offer images of the product in all colors, and the color accuracy on their site is amazing. Their fulfillment rate is phenomenal, which is so important for the consumer — when you buy something, you want to know it’s coming. Everything they do resonates with people in a positive way. I call their work ethic ‘casual intensity.’”
Tom Austin,
Director of online businesses, Clarks

“We’ve been working with Zappos since the beginning, and then got involved heavily when we came back a little more than two years ago. The breadth of their consumer base is one of the best things about Zappos. They reach so many people in so many different consumer groups, and that’s what really sets them apart.”
Bruce Fendell,
VP of sales, Fila USA

“The team at Zappos is incredible. They have great energy and they move quickly. As a vendor, you can see what you’re selling and assess your business at any time through their site, which is why the consumer ultimately gets such a great experience. If they see a shoe they love that’s not available in their size, Zappos let’s the customer know — down to the day — when they can get it.”
Patti Lauria,
National sales manager, Chinese Laundry

“Zappos was the first Internet account that approached us. They’ve paved the way for others — and look at how many followed. The innovator always has the toughest job, and they really set the stage. Their buyers have a good eye and great taste, and what I love about them is how responsive they are to new ideas. They’re very open-minded in the way they approach the market, and they’ve created a retail atmosphere that people feel very comfortable buying in.”
Marvin Krasnow,
Founder & President, Aquatalia by Marvin K

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“The Zappos culture allows people to be themselves, spurs creativity and individuality, and propels them to achieve their No. 1 goal: providing excellent customer service on a daily basis.”
Jorge Domeniconi,
SVP of sales, Stride Rite

“When Jump first began working with Zappos, it struck me that their innovative business model and method of buying was revolutionary. Essentially, they allow vendors to be fully partnered with their organization by training us to learn their systems to manage and increase our business. All the new-age tools and applications online companies typically employ to increase interactivity with their consumers, Zappos does with its vendors. It’s fun and interesting to watch your business grow as Zappos grows. Having worked as a merchant for a number of years, I could tell that Zappos’ systems, inventory management and style of buying was something that would not only change the world of online retailing but perhaps the whole of merchandising itself.”
Victor Hsu,
Marketing director, Jump

“A lot of large companies really struggle to emulate the successful strategies of small companies because they see that small is beautiful. Yet, the very things that evaporate with size are often the quirks and core identity of smallness. Here is a company that seems effortlessly able to be big and act small, with modesty and grace. Zappos has youth, brains and idealism embedded in its company profile.”
Miranda Morrison,
Co-founder, Sigerson Morrison

“We’ve been with Zappos since the beginning, and they’ve taken online retailing to the next level. What attracted me to them as a merchant was the breadth of their assortment. You can find the brand you want on their site, and you can find 20 or 30 styles per collection. They have a customer-friendly business, and it’s very easy to navigate through their site, which also has led to their success. They also treat vendors just as well as they treat customers — from picking you up at the airport to serving ice cream in the office.”
Gene Berkowitz,
Group president of sales, better brands, Vince Camuto

 

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