November 11, 2006

Zappos Verses Macy's: A Multichannel Test

Featured to the right are "Bhavin" boots from Nine West. These stylish boots are available at both Zappos and Macy's (and also at Nine West and other retailers, but I digress). I will assume they are available in Macy's stores, though I don't know for certain if this is true.

How much do these boots cost?

Zappos: $112.95. Sales Tax = $0.00. Shipping Cost = $0.00. Total Cost = $112.95.

Macy's Retail: $109.00. Sales Tax = $9.59 in Western Washington. Total Cost = $118.59.

Macy's Online: $109.00. Shipping Cost = $13.95 (item does not qualify for free shipping on $125 purchase promotion). Sales Tax = $10.82 in Western Washington. Total Cost = $133.77.

The multichannel merchant (Macy's) offers you the item for $118.59 if you are willing to spend time driving to the mall, or offers the item for $133.77 if you purchase it online.

The single-channel merchant (Zappos) offers you the item for $112.95.

As a consumer, do you choose the multichannel merchant (Macy's), or do you choose the single-channel merchant (Zappos)? Please provide your opinions in the comments section of this post.


  1. Anonymous10:25 AM

    I'd choose neither since Nordstrom offers the same boot for $94.95 and if you buy it in their store or online it is a better deal than Zappos.

  2. Let me ask the question a different way. Would you purchase the same item from a multichannel company and pay more, or would you purchase the item from an online pureplay, and pay less?

  3. As a general rule, I buy from the lowest cost, reputable online retailer, after doing some brick and mortar research. I have used Zappos this way and they are great.

  4. Anonymous10:26 AM

    No simple answer to this one, this reads almost like classic utility analysis: what are the trade-off profiles between price and convenience?
    If someone needs the shoes immediately, Macy's stores are the way to go, if price is the driver, Zappos will carry the day... I cannot think of a compelling reason for the Macy's online offer, but, again, I am not partial to women's boots either :)

    Adelino de Almeida

  5. Anonymous1:08 PM

    I have bought shoes from Zappos, and have been pleased with the savings. Another factor is the policy of offering pre-paid postage for returns. Most merchants will charge you.

  6. Anonymous12:27 AM

    I would choose Zappos! Why? because they have a good shoes, great customer service, low price and on time delivery. Thats why i would choose Zappos. Yesterday i just got my pair of zappos from, and i love it so much!


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