On June 22nd Amazon acquired online shoe/clothing merchant Zappos.com with a stock deal valued somewhere between $850 – $920 million.
I’m sure there a more reasons for this acquisition than meets the eye but the most stated reason is Zappos’ CEO’s philosophy of “karmic capitalism”. What goes around comes around couldn’t be truer in this case.
Tony Hsieh is Zappos’ CEO. He is a Harvard graduate with a degree in computer science. He made a bunch of money back in 1998 when he co-founded and sold LinkExchange to Microsoft. He joined the Zappos team in 2000 and has taken the company’s gross sales from $1.6 million to $1 billion in his tenure there.
What is remarkable about this young man is what how he accomplished this feet. He and his team created a Zappos ‘culture’ that is completely customer-centric. You can read Zappos 10 Core Values here. http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values They included their employees and customers in this ‘culture’ and they tweeted – a lot. Not just a little bit of alot, they tweeted a lot of alot.
Search Engine Watch’s Sage Lewis wrote Zappos + Twitter = Innovative Success http://searchenginewatch.com/3631269 back in October of 2008. It is worth the read.
One thing that caught my eye was Sage Lewis’ point that dedicated Twitter activity garners links from other sites. At the time the article was written, Zappos had 2467 pages linking to their site. I did a link check when I read the article. Now they have 7116. Wow!
For those not obsessed with search engine optimization, incoming links from other sites is a significant factor (some say less so now) in who’s site show up where in a searched listing. They also bring very valuable, targeted direct traffic. In other words, incoming links add value to your company’s bottom line.
So does being a Twitter rockstar. And in the case of rock star, Zappos, it brings about 1 billion tidbits of value.