Zappos vs. Amazon

Both Zappos and Amazon are popular online shops, and each has their own unique share of the market. Which one do you prefer? If you have a favorite, do you know much about the other? Both are giants in their respective industries, but maybe you don’t know as much as you could about each of these.

Take a look at our breakdown of each of these shops below. By the end, you should be able to decide which one is better. This Amazon vs. Zappos competition could get one sided, but remember to take everything into account before voting.

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What is Zappos?

Zappos launched in 1999 as a response to the difficulty that founder Nick Swinmurn had trying to find specific shoes in physical stores. Although created right before the tech bubble burst, Zappos has proven to be a successful company despite the ups and downs it has seen. For several years, they were considered to be the go-to resource if you were looking for high quality shoes at a discounted price. Today, they are still one of the most popular online retailers on the web, even with giants like Wal-Mart having increased their share of the online market.

Zappos, although it operates as an independent website, is actually a subsidiary of Amazon. It was acquired by the company in 2009, although it still operates as an autonomous branch, for most purposes.

The company is based out of Henderson, Nevada.

What does Zappos Sell?

Zappos primarily sells shoes and clothing. They also have a handful of accessories available, such as purses and handbags. Their products are geared toward men, women, and children. They have thousands of different items to choose from, and often can sell their products for lower than you would find in the mall.

Does Zappos Have a Customer Loyalty Program?

Yes. The Zappos Rewards programs allows customers to earn points and qualify for expedited shipping services. Rewards members can also gain access to sale prices before they become available to the general public.

The Rewards program comes in four different tiers, ranging from Silver, to Gold, to Platinum, to Elite. The tier you qualify for depends on how many points you earn. Each upgrade comes with a new set of benefits. Currently, the Elite status is available by invitation only. Loyal customers can gain overnight shipping with everything from Gold status upward.

Zappos is also famous for its customer service. Even if you do not have a Zappos Rewards membership, the company will every once in a while spring for upgraded shipping for its customers, just as a display of gratitude for your business. This dedication to service has helped give the company a sterling reputation.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Zappos?

Zappos focuses primarily on footwear. They have everything from sports cleats to high-end dress and luxury shoes. Over the years, they’ve expanded to carry a huge assortment of clothes, too. As far as accessories go, they carry purses, belts, sunglasses, and watches, to name a few. These are available for both men and women. The addition of kids items is more recent, but they have an extensive selection in this category, too.

What is Amazon?

Amazon is an online retailer, and based upon market capitalization, they are one of the top five largest companies in the United States. They were founded in 1994, and quickly became one of the biggest online shopping sites in the world. Although based out of the United States, Amazon has shipping locations throughout the world.

Recently, Amazon has added physical locations to their line of products, including Whole Foods Market, a large chain of grocery stores. This has helped give Amazon not just a huge online presence, but a large brick and mortar presence, too. Many individuals have pointed to the irony of this—Amazon changed the business model of how items were sold and helped shift shopping to a digital venue. Now that they are a huge corporation, they are focusing on physical locations. Even though this might seem backwards, the success that the company has created cannot be denied.

Amazon’s headquarters is in Seattle, Washington.

What does Amazon Sell?

Amazon began as an online bookstore, but today the store sells almost everything. They still sell books, but they also sell clothes, sporting goods, computers, software, apps, e-books, e-readers, and movie streaming services. They also have their own line of programming available for streaming. Their specialties currently include e-books, electronic services and devices, and entertainment. Many of their niche programs have expanded drastically in recent years.

Does Amazon Have a Customer Loyalty Program?

Yes. Amazon has a program called Prime that allows their customers to take advantage of many different types of rewards. It comes with free shipping on many items, access to Prime television and movies, as well as free e-books.

Amazon Prime does have a membership fee associated with it. Prime members pay just over $100 per year to use this program, but loyal customers can earn this fee back in just a few weeks.

There are several different programs within Prime that you can use, if you wish. Most of these are designed to be used with the Kindle e-reader and allows Kindle users to take advantage of as many free books per month as you can read.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Amazon?

Amazon’s expansion has been mammoth in the last few years. A lot of people believe that they are attempting to compete with big name brick and mortar retailers. This might very well be true, but Amazon provides a much more extensive list of services than even huge companies like Wal-Mart. Amazon specializes in e-books, entertainment services and electronic devices now. They do have many specialty niche sites, too. Some of these include rare books, professional educational services, and more. Some of these areas of the company have expanded very quickly, while some have faded away, depending on the responses that have been seen.

Your Turn!

Which site is best?  You’ve read this Zappos vs. Amazon synopsis andn ow that you have the facts, it’s your turn to let us know which site you prefer.