Amazon buys online shoe retailer Zappos. Is it a fit?

I found out about this news on Garry Tan’s sub posterous blog via the e-mail I get from them every day. I clicked right on the embedded media and watched Jeff Bezos go on and on about the early days of Amazon and how customer-centric they are before he announced that they had just purchased Zappos and how much he loves them and Tony Hsieh.

I’ve been a customer of Amazon for years and I’m sure I will one day be a Zappos customer the next time I purchase a pair of shoes. I do think Amazon is an innovative company and this could mean good things for both organizations. But I’ve always had the belief that competition is good and that more than one big Internet retailer like Amazon would be a good thing. I’m not saying that Zappos was headed in the direction of Amazon. They were clearly focused on footwear and clothing..

My question is: Will Amazon become more social-media oriented or will Zappos become less social-media oriented?

Read my related post on Zappos’s dedication to customer service and its culture.

I would think that a lot of Zappos’s practices (everyone blogging, twittering, and free shipping back and forth in any case) will not extend over into Amazon. But maybe some of it will. There may have been other You Tube Videos done by Jeff Bezos before but this is the first one I’ve seen.

Supposedly Amazon is going to let Zappos run on its own. It will keep its Las Vegas headquarters (yuck) and many of the principals will stay. What is unclear is weather Amazon’s shoe store Endless will fold into Zappos or not. Here is an excerpt from PaidContent.org that talks about the purchase price and reasons for purchasing it:

Amazon.com (NSDQ: AMZN) is acquiring online shoe retailer Zappos.com for $807 million in stock and $40 million in cash. The companies said Zappos will retain its brand, management team and Las Vegas headquarters after the closing, which is expected this fall. What’s less clear is just how much Zappos will have to do with Amazon’s existing shoe and apparel businesses, including Endless.com.

It seems like Zappos’ social media-friendly corporate culture has already rubbed off on Amazon, as CEO Jeff Bezos has posted a YouTube video about the deal. In it, he talks up the company’s synergies—not to mention Zappos’ success at building a phenomenal online brand.

You can read the entire PaidContent.org article, written by Tameka Kee, here:

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