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One Year After His Death, Tony Hsiehs Customer Centric Vision Is As Strong As Ever in E-Commerce

By November 28, 2021No Comments

Growing up, I would say the person that made the biggest impact on my e-commerce career was Tony Hsieh. This was around the time that e-commerce was starting to blow up but it wasn’t anywhere near ‘sexy’ yet. Then came along this retailer called Zappos.com that was founded by this young Asian guy that wasn’t talking about money this, money that, he was just talking about experiences and making customers happy. A new idea? No. A new way of looking at, specially in the digital world? YES. Absolutely.

It’s important for people to know that this ideas was NOT that of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, it was Tony Hsieh that started this moving, of ‘delivering happiness,’ in which Bezos got right in his own right, thus buying Zappos a few years later as well.

Today, 20 plus years later, we’re still very much about putting the customer first and delivering the best possible experience, at least those are the companies that very much survive and thrive in todays environment.

Read a great article on Forbes by Michael Scharff, “R.I.P. Digital Advertising: Customer Acquisition Is Now A CX Game.”

[Article Excerpt]

Why CX Wins In Terms Of Customer Acquisition

[The belief that getting eyeballs to a website will win customers is outdated. E-commerce is too competitive, customers are more knowledgeable and visitors browsing the web are quick to jump to another website if they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for. It’s better digital experiences that hook them, and brands need to find better ways to connect with customers.

Analysts suggest that companies investing in CX are experiencing a 10% faster growth and 25% increase in close rates. Not surprisingly, customers are tired of being bombarded with irrelevant marketing campaigns. They want more personalization, and they deserve better experiences. A far better strategy for customer acquisition is finding ways to serve up relevant information that will help customers make buying decisions, removing complex steps that hinder progression in the customer journey and delighting them with more value. This strategy can deliver a healthier ROI and improve customer lifetime value (CLV). ]

In the privacy age, just getting traffic to your website isn’t enough, that’s 100% true. Acquiring as well as RETENTION is just more than traffic and a solid email strategy, it’s getting all the parts of a CX on-point. And…that’s the challenges of company today. As ‘easy’ as it sounds in theory, providing a great customer experience from top of funnel to the end of the customer journey, including getting their product, using it, etc, is the hardest part any brand / company needs to optimize and get right moving forward in this competitive enviroment.

Somehow, over 20 years ago, Tony had this vision that ultimately became the standard at Zappos and it’s north star. Amazon acquired Zappos for $1.2 billion in 2009, and kept Hsieh on as CEO. He said in 2010 he had decided to sell to the e-commerce giant because Amazon recognized “the uniqueness of Zappos’s culture and Amazon’s duty to protect it.” When Bezos was asked why he decided to follow through with the acquisition of Zappos, “Zappos is a customer focused company,” said Bezos, “we see great opportunities for both companies to learn from each other and create even better experiences for our customers.”

So as you look forward to better your business, scale your business, think to this concept as the ultimate acquisition and retention strategy that pays long-term dividends and not only helps scale a business, but truly BUILDS A BRAND.

Pablo Palatnik

Pablo Palatnik

Pablo Palatnik is an industry veteran in e-commerce & digital marketing with over 20 years experience. He successfully built and sold businesses; he now serves as the VP of Global E-Commerce for cosmetic dermatology brand DS Laboratories. Pablo is the Founder of Etrend.com.

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