A Shoe-shopping Love/Hate Story

Men will never understand our love affair with shoes, so most women have given up explaining it – including me.  But this is a story about shoe-shopping love.

I ordered shoes from Zappos for the first time on Tuesday.  I hate to shop (there is a gene broken somewhere in my DNA string), but shopping online is tolerable.  I was wary about buying shoes online because in the real world it takes a mountain of try-ons to find the one pair I can wear, but everyone told me how easy Zappos made it and they were right.  You scroll through pages of pretty pictures of pretty shoes shot from all angles.  You sort by price, color, style, anything you want.  And with a little mouse click they go to your shopping cart.  All done sprawled on the sofa with an iPad (yes, there’s an App for that).

By now everyone has heard the stories of Zappos’ great service: free shipping for purchases and returns, great prices and a huge selection.  It’s all true.  But the feature that was most impressive was the review section.  Women really dished the dirt on each shoe for sale.  How they fit, how they felt, what they really looked like…  It felt as if we were all chatting over a Starbucks.  So, I trusted my “sisters”, took the plunge and ordered three pairs.

They arrived in a day, and they were all cute and they all hurt exactly as they said they would.  I kept two and returned one.  You see, this isn’t a love story about the shoes, it’s a love story about service.  I knew what I was getting and the expectations were met.  I trusted the women’s reviews and they were right.  So if there is anyway for you to incorporate customer reviews (unedited) on your site and about your business – do it.  Start the conversation and let the customers find you and trust in that experience.

As for the shoes, well… after a few hours of more online shopping for replacements I have decided:

1)   I still hate shopping

2)   There are a lot of ugly shoes out there

3)   Unless I have surgery, my left foot will always hurt and

4)   It’s easier to keep the shoes and buy a lot of Dr. Scholls and Advil.


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