Tony Hsieh, has been the Zappos CEO since 2000 after investing in Zappos with his venture fund. In a former life Tony was the cofounder of Link Exchange, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1998 for $265 million. Speaking of acquisitions, the Zappos acquisition by Amazon just closed November 1st and totaled $1.2 billion. Now just to be clear, Tony didn't go into a bunch of web marketing tactics, seo tricks or ppc strategies. His keynote address at PubCon was all about the corporate culture and core values of Zappos. If you think about it, that's a lot like on-site seo architecture since both serve as a foundation for future success.

Here are a few highlights from his keynote address regarding Zappos.
  • They want to talk to their customers and actually consider it a marketing investment.
  • Their 800 number is at the top of every page of their site.Oh, by the way, they have about 11 subdomains linked from their www site.
  • Offer free shipping both ways.
  • 365 day return policy.
  • 75% of their orders are from repeat customers.
  • They often do surprise upgrades to next day shipping.
  • You can place an order at midnight and receive your shoes by 8am the following day.
  • Their number one priority is company culture (no surprise there for SEG readers).
  • They offer tours of their headquarters in Las Vegas and those tours are open to the public. You won't be escorted by a PR liason but rather by a Zappos employee and after the tour you're escorted to the lunch room and allowed to roam around and check out the company. Talk about trust, wow! Oh yeah, if you fly in for a tour of Zappos, they'll shuttle you to their headquarters via the Zappos shuttle, not too shabby.

Some interesting sites to learn more about Zappos are Zappos Life, Zappos Tv and Zappos Insights (their goal was to scale their on-site tours to registered members in order to open their culture to more corporations). I also find it interesting that links to about 30 different social media sites including Twitter and AddThis. My favorite quote from Tony's speech was "Customer service is not a department, its the entire company". I think that sums up his speech quite well.
November 10, 2009

Jason is a nationally-recognized SEO expert and is the go to seo consultant of Fortune 100 companies like AT&T, Motorola & Microsoft as well as major brands like YellowBook and LA Times. He is the Director of Search at Triangle Direct Media and responsible for the development and capabilities of SEO Tool - TDM's automated seo platform. Prior to joining TDM Jason was Founder / CEO of search engine optimization firm Global Promoter, which was acquired by Kowabunga in 2004. In a previous life Jason was an Information Systems Engineer for NASA and a systems analyst at Oracle Corp.


A 365 day return policy is quite a selling point to Zappos customers. WOW! I wonder how many retailers in attendance would put that type of customer-oriented into play? Probably not too many. That sure differentiates them from the competition and probably generates some fantastic product reviews and word-of-mouth awareness amongst like minded peers. has amazing customer service. Nobody even comes close.

It's very admiring to see how Tony Hsieh is running Zappos. It's simply amazing that 75% of their orders are from repeat customers!

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