Zappos: Stepping Forward in Stakeholder Satisfaction
Every corporation seeks to maximize profits while at the same time make her customers happy. Zappos is one corporation that has managed to effectively make her customers happy and acts in accordance with its core values. The corporation does not compete on prizes but seeks to make its customers happy through authentic and remarkable buying experiences. Consumers are highly sensitive to prices (Rasheed & Abadi, 2014). Zappos has, therefore, guaranteed consumers a safety net by prioritizing their buying experiences and needs at the expense of prices, which can bar consumers’ purchasing power. The corporation has also demonstrated effectiveness in making its customers happy through simple and customized shopping experiences. Zappos’ customers are therefore less frustrated and enjoy placing their orders (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2014).
Even though customers are secondary stakeholders who are not essential to the survival of a business they are legitimate for the business to remain viable. Customers become happy when they feel valued for their contributions to the organization as well as how they are treated (Rasheed & Abadi, 2014). Zappos has managed to make its customers through exemplary customer service which has given the corporation a better standing from the rest in the industry as well as through increased personal connections that allow clients to call the corporation at any time when grievances arise.
A company’s ability to foster and sustain a long-term robust relationship with its stakeholders depends on how it treats diverse stakeholders. Zappos’ relationship with customers is long-lasting as evidenced by over 75% of the purchases that are made by repeat customers (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2014). The buying behavior of customers is very unpredictable in a competitive business environment where customers’ tastes and preferences keep on changing. A robust long-term relationship can only be shown by repeat purchases of similar customers, ability to retain old customers as well as to attract new customers despite the stiff competition.
It is worrying that many organizations assume that as long as the employees have better pay, then they are going to stay in the organization. Zappos has established a robust relationship with employees by creating a wellness center and employee nap room among other facilities that have not only benefited the employees but the entire corporation. Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell (2014) regard this as a “win-win situation” for both the employees and the corporation. In addition to that Zappos has managed to foster a long-lasting relationship by building on friendship within and outside work. Senior staff bond with their subordinates and this has enhanced communication with employees, built trust and created mutual friendships.
As the corporation grows, managing its workforce and thus their productivity poses ethical challenges. When the corporation grows, management might be forced to use less-engaging strategies that drive employees and this might affect employee performance. Zappos has encountered a similar challenge but has tried to manage it by restructuring the corporation. In as much as Zappos seeks to maintain a good public reputation by being mindful of its workers, the corporation has battled an ethical risk of laying off employees due to tough economic times (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2014). Zappos should also be ready for a bleak future due to unstable and unpredictable economic conditions.
A corporate cultural shift is also evident as Zappos engages in mergers and acquisitions. As a consequence, the new business alliances and strategic partnerships form might focus on profit maximization at the expense of clients’ happiness. What used to create value to the consumer might no longer work to Zappos and this will create various ethical concerns (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2014). The cultural shift might not resonate well with various consumer groups and will subject the corporation to various criticisms from various stakeholder groups. Zappos: Stepping Forward in Stakeholder Satisfaction