Dear Jason, Tom and host(s) de jour,
I apologize for being a little behind here (6 weeks in Tokyo will throw off one’s podcast-listening schedule), but this email is in regard to Episode 1025, where you discussed Amazon’s purchase of the online shoe-retailer, Zappos.com.
For the most part, I think that your discussion was right on, especially Rafe’s (Brian Drubbings?) comment that this acquisition, featuring two popular and customer-focused companies joining forces, will only prove to be favorable for both Amazon and its customers. Interestingly, Tom’s speculation that the move will potentially bring changes to Amazon’s Prime membership, and Amazon’s shipping policies in general, was probably more accurate than he initially might have thought.
As a former Amazon Prime member, (I cancelled my membership following the expiration of the free-trial period) I received an email request to complete a survey, which conveniently floated into my inbox right around the time the news of this acquisition broke. This survey posed a range of questions, concerning my online purchasing habits from Amazon and other retailers, and specifically asked questions about the shipping deals offered through Amazon Prime, and what price points/additional features I would be interested in. Some examples: a $49 (instead of $79) membership, multiple accounts on one household membership, and expanded range of goods eligible for free shipping, and faster shipping/Sunday deliveries.
I believe that this survey is an indication that Amazon is strongly considering changes to their shipping policies, changes that will be accelerated thanks to the Zappos.com acquisition.
The bottom line is that Amazon will likely retain a free shipping both-ways policy for footwear, and any expansion of this policy’s benefits to other areas of Amazon’s online store can only be considered a welcome implementation.
For now, I am waiting until I am back stateside, when I will be ordering some new running shoes on my Amazon account! (Bonus: check out wired.com’s article on “less is more”, techie approach to running shoes)...
Love The Show,
Mike the Law Student in Tokyo