How a viral blog post on a cooking blog cast a glowing light on a popular Web-based shoe seller
Was it a smart PR move, or great customer service? Zappos, an online shoe retailer, got a boost from viral marketing this past summer, thanks to the unsolicited praise of a third-party blogger, who’s personal loss became a major gain for the company’s reputation.
In her Writing—Cooking—Life blog, food writer Zaz LaMarr kept her readers up to speed on her mother’s battle with cancer. Shortly after her mother passed away, LaMarr published a post titled, “I Heart Zappos.”
LaMarr had purchased several pairs of shoes for her mother through the Zappos Web site, but many of them didn’t fit because her mother had lost a great deal of weight during chemotherapy. LaMarr e-mailed the company that she would be returning the shoes, which the company pays for as long as it is within 15 days of purchase. The buyer only has to arrange for the shoes to get to UPS.