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How Zappos got its first customers?

Zappos MVP

Nick Swinmurn wanted to try his luck at selling shoes online. He created Zappos as an online shop with shoes.  He designed a website Shoesite.com and then began visiting local shoes-selling spots.

He visited Footwear Etc. in a California mall and offered that he would buy their shoes and sell them online. He snapped several photos once they agreed.

He got financing from friends and relatives. It has let him  amass $150,000. In order to save more money for his business,  e also got a job at Silicon Graphics. He was having trouble finding investors until his attorney recommended Venture Frogs' Tony Hseih. Nick talked a bit with him, and the man handed Nick $500,000 afterwards. They renamed the startup Zappos and moved it to Venture Frogs' headquarters.

As mass advertising didn't have much sense in Zappos' case, Zappos e-commerce strategy avoided putting funds in marketing.  Instead, they concentrated on customer service and Zappos user acquisition. Free overnight shipping and returns were the two main factors of Zappos e-commerce strategy. Instead of acquiring more and more new consumers, they concentrated on keeping the ones they have already had with them. Zappos user acquisition methods and their customer-focused approach gave the company significant word-of-mouth results.

[source]

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