There is already a lot written about what will happen to the culture of Zappos. Will it remain separate, will it be integrated or will it be the ‘norm’ also for Amazon? I don’t know what will the plan.
From a services point of view, it is also very interesting to see what both companies can learn form each other.
They have a fantastic website and from a customers point of view it looks like everything is automated. That is fine, as long as you don’t encounter any problems. Recently I did buy a video camera from them with a tripod. It was until I get to the payment screen that it became clear that they would not ship the tripod overseas. I have no idea why that was the case. I went through a lot of hassle to disintegrate my order. Parts which were okay to be shipped to the Netherlands had to be separated from parts which were only shipped in the US. I really had a lot of problems with this order, so I wanted to call customer service for some help. There was no telephone number that I could find. I felt not being supported, I was only able to talk to my Apple and that didn’t work.
So, it would be great if Amazon adds a possibility to talk to a real human being. And it would be very nice to talk to a customer service representative who is trained in the Zappos tradition. That would really add a lot of value to my customer service experience.
Zappos just recently started to ship there products internationally. However the way they organized this is not attractive at all. They add a huge amount to the price for shipping internationally and the logistics are also a hassle.
What Zappos can learn from Amazon to really a worldwide delivery system in place. Maybe they can even use the Amazon facilities abroad. Zappos will then have the opportunity to become a real global phenomenon.
So, instead of looking at the downside of this acquisition it is much more stimulating to look at their respective strengths and what they can learn from each other. In that way the customers will be the real winners.
RADICAL SERVICE INNOVATION