Amazon Says 'I Do' to Zappos. Now What?

They Look Compatible, but This Brand Couple May Have Differences

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NEW YORK ( -- "Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree ... " That's the headline Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh told employees he'd like to see on articles discussing the acquisition. Headlines like "Amazon acquires Zappos" wouldn't properly convey the spirit of the transaction, he said, which indicates Mr. Hsieh views the deal as a marriage of two like-minded companies.


TALE OF THE TAPE: Zappos vs. Amazon
Certainly, Zappos and Amazon have plenty in common. They're online retail companies founded in the go-go '90s. They have exuberant, respected, much-lauded CEOs. Both built a name in a single market and early on declared their desire to be keenly focused on the customer, eschewing big marketing budgets.

But there are distinct differences too, when it comes to the best way to interact with customers and social media. There are disparities about the importance of promotional pricing and seeing an immediate, tangible return on investment. And, of course, the smaller, private company has none of the inhibitions of the multibillion-dollar public company.

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