Zappos.com, the popular shoe site that embraces exceptional customer service and successful use of social media, made an expensive mistake over the weekend that cost them $1.6 million but ultimately used the blunder to boost their brand image.
So what happened? Zappos.com’s sister site, 6pm.com, ran into a technical glitch that priced everything on the site at $49.95 or under for several hours on Sunday morning. Items that ranged up to thousands of dollars could be bought at $49.95.
When Zappos.com realized the mistake, they shut down the site to fix the problem and restore the original prices. But here’s the best part: the company honored the prices they mistakenly sold the products at. Aaron Magness from Zappos.com stated, “While we’re sure this was a great deal for customers, it was inadvertent, and we took a big loss (over $1.6 million – ouch) selling so many items so far under cost. However, it was our mistake. We will be honoring all purchases that took place on 6pm.com during our mess up.”
What can marketers and business owners learn from this?