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Zappos traffic falls and job postings plummet - raising questions about Amazon's plans for it

5 months ago by Jon Marino in Innovation, Markets

Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) has been growing jobs worldwide, from the U.S. to China, Germany to Mexico, you name it.

There are scant few places where Amazon isn't trying to build, and that's what makes its online shoe retailer — Zappos — stand out; it doesn’t appear to be growing.

Since April, Amazon has made big reductions to job postings for Zappos.com, and that all comes after years of web traffic for Zappos slowing.

No More Staff?

Amazon has drastically cut the number of job postings for Zappos this year. As of early April, Amazon was looking to fill nearly 170 roles at Zappos, and virtually overnight, our data shows the company cut job postings by 88%. Factor in that Zappos is cutting 40% discounts, it certainly seems like the company is a brand eager to get more attention - even when it has to fight to do so. 

Continuing App Engagement

One positive sign for Zappos is the steady increase in app store ratings - for most of this year, they have increased steadily, crossing the 500,000 mark. Furthermore, app ratings grew by 11% in less than a six-month span. At least someone is using Zappos. 

Much Less Traffic

According to monthly unique visitor count data averaged by quarter, Zappos' web traffic is down 80% since Q4 2013. For years, Amazon used its shoe retailing brand to pull more traffic to its flagship site, which also sells shoes. As of 2015, more than five years after acquiring Zappos, Amazon began to outpace its subsidiary's shoe sales, according to RetailWire

But — perhaps — this was all part of the plan for Zappos; maybe it was getting 'the Quidsi.' In Quidsi's case, the online baby goods retailer (which changed its name from Diapers.com) was snapped up for more than $500 million by Amazon - only to be integrated, shut down, and have its brand stripped from the company over time. Amazon spent nearly $1 billion to buy Zappos out in 2009, and it might have finally gotten all of its utility out of the brand. 

About the Data

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

For Web Traffic data, we use Alexa.com, a subsidiary of Amazon, to see how well websites are retaining desktop users. Although it does not count mobile users, a growing demographic that eats into desktop users, into its statistics, it’s still fair to look at the metric for the purpose of weighing another Amazon subsidiary.

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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