I was looking to buy a pair of New Balance running shoes last weekend. We went to the New Balance store in the local mall.
The sales associate in the store was very patient and helpful. I finally decided on a particular model. But, they didn’t have the color I wanted.
So, I asked. "Do you have gray color for this model?"
"We don’t have it in the store, but I know we make gray color ones. You can order online".
"Oh, cool. So, I just go to NewBalance.com?"
"Yeah. That’ll work. But, actually, Zappos will be better. They’re really good, and really fast. You’ll get the shoes the next day, and you return for free. Highly recommended. "
Wow! As you might know, Zappos has a very dominant position in the online shoes retail market — it’s the "amazon.com" for buying shoes online. But, this is flattery at the highest form — when your competitor/suppliers are pointing their customers your way, you’re doing something right.
New Balance is a supplier of Zappos. So, I’m not sure how the economic works here — will New Balance make more money from sales on their own online store comparing to sales via Zappos? I’m not sure. But, still, it’s very impressive for zappos to establish such respect and positive word-of-mouth.
Interesting enough, the current issue of Inc Magazine runs a great article on Zappos — The Zappos Way of Managing . Check it out.
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