[Editorial content. All opinions expressed are my own.]
The wife and I (mainly the wife) have been looking for a pair of winter boots for our pre-teen daughter. As a man, I don’t usually “look” this long for anything. It’s been almost three weeks now…
We started at all the usual spots – mall, shoe stores, outlet, etc – and have since moved online in our quest for the perfect pair of winter boots. I’m still not sure what the perfect pair of winter boots looks like, but I know we’re still looking.
So, this weekend I had a brilliant idea to go to Zappos.com and take a look at their selection. I follow internet marketing closely (with my trusty feed demon RSS account) and have been hearing a lot of buzz about Zappos.com and their cutting-edge, Web 2.0, Obama-marketing… “Obamarketing” for short… YES! I did just coin a new word.
Anyway, we looked through the Zappos.com website. It is very easy to navigate. Lots of great choices. Easy shipping and return shipping policies. Everything is absolutely fantastic… except the prices. Since we’ve already done endless research on all the boots within a 50 mile radius of my front door, we found the prices to be quite a bit higher than what is available locally.
I immediately went on a hunt for “zappos.com discount” and “zappos.com coupon” and all the other bargain-hunting derivatives. I mean, if I could find the right coupon code, my wife would end all this nonsense and just buy the stinkin’ boots, right? Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was free upgraded overnight shipping and a few other coupon codes that no longer work.
[NOTE: If anyone at Zappos.com is reading this and would like to post a few good coupon codes in the comment section – please, feel free.]
In this economy, I believe selection and customer service are going to find themselves trumped more and more often by price… especially with gas down under $2.00 a gallon. People are willing to trade their time for a few bucks when they feel the squeeze… and I do mean “a few” bucks.
It doesn’t really make sense to me, but it is the reality that we live in. Folks will waste 4-5 hours of their life driving all over town to save an extra $5. Can you say “CRAZY”?
As my father is so fond of saying, “Perception is 90% of reality”… actually, my wife will tell you that is my favorite saying too. I’ve just shortened it a bit – “Perception IS Reality”.
Here’s your take-away – if there is one:
Everyone has their own reality. In this economy, reality is going to trend towards pricing. Obamarketing is about finding out where the parade is, where it is going and getting in front of it as fast as possible.
Reposition your proposition to target the reality of your prospects for maximum return… throw common sense out the window… ignore last years focus groups (those things are worthless anyway)… make the trend your friend… tap into the hidden motivators of your target group and then get out your marching baton.
Zappos.com is a great online store. They’ve got great word of mouth. Their Twitter tactics are stellar… a real Web 2.0 marketing study.
I’m sure a lot more people will be using their website to research their next in-store purchase in the coming months… and they’ll sell a few more shoes themselves too.
p.s. We ended up downloading a 20% coupon from Justice for Girls to take in-store. My daughter will end up wearing the same boots half a million other girls are wearing this year, but hey, we’ll save $7 and you can’t beat the price!