If the shoe fits, wear it. If not, Zappos.com will gladly take it back at no cost to you. Zappos.com has become the #1 seller of shoes online by stressing customer service. It stocks 3 million pairs of shoes, handbags, and apparel and accessories, specializing in more than 1,000 brands that are difficult to find in mainstream shopping malls. Through its website (and 7,000 affiliate partners), Zappos.com distributes stylish and moderately priced footwear to frustrated and shop-worn customers nationwide. The company was founded by its former chairman, Nick Swinmurn, following a botched mall-based shoe quest in 1999. A decade later, Zappos.com was acquired by online giant Amazon.com.
In addition to its namesake website, the e-tailer operates specialty sites: Couture.zappos.com, Outdoor.zappos.com, Rideshop.zappos.com, and Running.zappos.com.
The firm has moved way beyond shoes to boost sales with the aim of becoming an e-tailer that sells "anything and everything," adding apparel, bags, jewelry, watches, ties, eyewear, and even electronics to its online store. To this end, it rolled out an Emerging Designer Program (developed by Zappos.com employees) to nurture up-and-coming fashion designers who are looking to market their wares to a broader audience.
The company served Canadian customers until 2011, when it exited the region due to high brokerage fees and confusing shipping policies for cross-border orders. As part of the move, Zappos.com also shut down the canada.zappos.com website.