The familiarity of the Zappos name is not an accident and the enormous success of the e-commerce company has been in large part due to cutting edge technology along with a unique company culture.
From its roots in 1999, when founder Nick Swinmurn was walking around a mall in San Francisco looking for a pair of shoes and went home empty-handed and frustrated, to today becoming one of the most successful e-commerce companies, there has been ground breaking innovation within a unique company culture. Nick’s original idea was to create a web site that offered the absolute best selection in shoes in terms of brands, styles, colors, sizes, and widths. Through the years as Zappos evolved, not only did it strive to offer the best selection, but also to become the company that provides the absolute best customer service. Zappos has grown from a risky start up to a billion dollar business while keeping innovation and the company culture top priorities.
Zappos operates on ten core values that they live by and to ensure the company stays on track. The first of the core values is delivering WOW through service, which is often what is missing in the digital world.
A focus on company culture is at the core of Zappos success. CEO Tony Heish states “there are five things Zappos does to build and cultivate their unique company culture focused on customer service”. The Zappos culture works…it is not only an internal driver of service and innovation, but also an important part of the brand image and brand customer relationship. It represents innovation, energy and social activity.
In 2010, Zappos Labs, a Silicon Valley based R&D team, was launched to test new ways to shop online using social media. The existence of an R&D lab for a retailer is telling in itself. “Ask Zappos” was created which reminds people that Zappos consistently provides extraordinary acts of service. The lab continues to conduct online shopping experiments while developing cutting edge technology and new lines of business.