Branding

The Zappos MLS

Author
Marc Davison
No.
92
Date
10/22/07

Adidas Telstar. List price on Zappos: $59.95.

I get to see these shoes at every possible angle.
I get reviews.
I get contact options that include "click here for live support".

The Zappos MLS

There are three million products in the Zappos database from over one thousand different shoe brands. Eight years ago this company didn’t exist. It was born from frustration. Born from the limitations shoe retailers built into their model.

Zappos’ founder believed in a vision. A vision many are attempting to bring to real estate. That one day, most Americans will shop online. And the companies that succeed will be those that deliver the greatest selection and the best customer service.

In 1999, Zappos launched, defined by these two words – Selection and Speed. A brand was born.

Selection and speed. The two critical components in delivering high-end customer service. That’s their differentiation. It defines their business.

Revenue:

1999: Almost nothing
2000: $1.6 mm
2001: $8.6 mm
2002: $32 mm
2003: $70 mm
2004: $184 mm
2005: $370 mm
2006: $597 mm
2007: $800 mm (projected)

Today, every one of Zappos’ 1,300 employees are run through of a rigorous four-week stint at the company’s customer loyalty boot camp. Service is not some credo plastered on their website. It’s not a term that holds a different meaning for each employee, expressed 1,300 different ways. It’s not relegated to just one department. Zappos is powered by service from top to bottom.

Speed and selection. Two words that should define a real estate search.

Selection = Every home for sale in the marketplace.
Speed = Instant access to someone incredibly prepared to help you buy one.

Every Zappos transaction concludes with a customer feedback survey.
It gives meaning to their brand.
It tells the customer that the things they stand for are real.
It says my opinion matters.

Real estate is filled with over a million wannabe brands. All share similar mission statements, similar brand markers, slogans and tag lines. Most mean nothing to the consumer. Over the last ten years business flourished despite it. Today, many are in the red because of it.

Zappos believes if they “continue to focus on providing the absolute best service and the absolute best shopping experience,” they will grow as a company.

Do you believe this would hold true for real estate?

Davison