I think I might heart Zappos too.
I'd already heard aobut Zappos state-of-the-art customer service and their high ranking amongst the "best places to work", but when I visited their site something in particular struck me...their pricing. A $100 shoe costs just that. Not $99.95, not $99.99, but $100.
Their prices looked so much neater and so did the photographs of their products. One could argue that the extra cent pools into hiring a competent photographer like...ahem...myself. Another could argue that the rounded numbers somehow save a tangible amount in arithmetic convenience and easiness on the eyes (fewer employee and customer headaches I presume).
A competing store shaved a cent off their prices and at first their price looked as if it was a whole dollar cheaper (which is the point of such pricing in the first place), but once I noticed, it felt as if someone was trying to pull wool over my eyes and something inside me didn't appreciate it. I then knew I wasn't going to decide based on that lone cent.
I would love to say that I chose Zappos in the end. Instead, I went with the other store because their $10 gift certificate, along with a same-day, two-way, free-shipping offer that was to expire at the top of the hour, was too good to resist. Sadly, they charged my card the full amount and didn't honor the gift certificate. I may not bother to return the shoes since I can't trust them to refund my money, talk less of not charging me for shipping.
Even if, perchance, honesty doesn't pay in greens, I think Zappos is successful because they've identified their client and they've made up their mind to serve her well. Those clients will gladly spend the extra cent.
In the spirit of Zappos, I have rounded off more zeros in my prices...next thing is to figure out that killer customer service strategy. Any interesting ideas?