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Letter From Our CTO

Hi Team – welcome to the final Technology Newsletter for 2010! WOW - what a year this has been! As we discussed at tech all hands, we've had incredible successes by over-delivering on the roadmap and doing a spectacular job running a robust technology operation. There were many naysayers when we laid out our goals for the year but this team has collectively proven that we DELIVER ON OUR COMMITMENTS regardless of the difficulty or complexity of those commitments! We are in the midst of a very heavy peak season and it is clear that our work has paid off – a rock solid, error free and super fast website (our technology handled a $12.8M day flawlessly!) , an array of website features, unprecedented visibility into our business for merchandising and finance via the EDW, our ability to respond quickly to business changes via tools like Baffin and the Drools Rules Engine, APIs that have enabled us to deliver our ipad and iphone apps in record time, our newly minted category agnostic technology platform (away from a shoe centric platform) aka sizing, that takes findability/customer experience to the next level and so much more…

We go into 2011 with great confidence that we can take on any challenge that comes our way!! Our 2011 roadmap is being worked on by team members from all departments across technology in partnership with business teams – look for this to be published in the coming weeks!

Once again, I want to convey my most sincere thanks to this team that has gone above and beyond to deliver a spectacular 2010 for the Zappos Family– here's to an even more spectacular 2011!


Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


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Shop From Your iPhone and iPad

That's right. Thanks to the combined efforts of multiple departments within Zappos tech, users of the Apple iPad and iPhone can shop at anytime and from anywhere.

To get started a customer just needs to download the fee app from the iTunes app store and start shopping. The customer will see the familiar brand styling and identical catalogue to our "regular" site. In addition, the mobile application adds some extra functionality not found on the website. For example, users on the mobile app can simply tap, pinch and swipe to easily navigate the storefront. And thanks to the great work of our API team, customers can shop with confidence, as the app even offers secure transactions.

So far, iTunes has served up 70,000 downloads of the free Zappos Mobile App, we've had a near-constant 4 star rating, and we were even highlighted in Apple's featured shopping Apps section!

Each app required close to 10 weeks to complete. Development required the bulk of the time at close to 6 weeks. This is a remarkably efficient turnaround based on the complexity of the application and relative unfamiliarity tech had with the format. The most interesting hurdle that they had to overcome was that the team couldn't view the complete app until the very end when all the various components are included. At that point, it was a mad dash to put the final touches on the app, get all the QA done, and release the app to the public.

The team that brought to our adoring and tech savvy public is comprised of all-stars from various departments. The UX team designed the customer-friendly look and feel. The DEV team provided the underlying code to support this highly-functional app while the QA team kept everyone honest by making sure no "bugs' made it to the final app. Special thanks also to the CLT for fielding customer support inquiries and keeping our customers happy. Finally, the Product/Program Management team wrangled all of these teams into one cohesive, efficient and creative whole. We've all been busy working on various projects, and it's been humbling to see these teams come together to take advantage of this evolving segment of the market.

Next up, will be the development of apps for the Android and Chrome OS. Like all projects that we get passionate about, the team will also constantly tweak, update and improve the current apps. Feel free to stop by and say hi to the team! They're sequestered in the Penn and Teller room in building 2290!

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Downloading Core Values

Donut Eating Contest

In an effort to "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness" and "Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit" the Tech teams in Las Vegas and Kentucky held their Fourth Annual Tech Donut Eating Contest.  The donut eating contest was open to anyone in the tech team whether contractor/employee, manager/non-manager, male/female or pro/amateur. This year, we were even able to include the folks KY "real-time" thanks to our SKYPE-enabled video conferencing system.

Once ground rules were communicated and donuts placed strategically, the participants prepared themselves for the challenge ahead. And they’re off! The atmosphere was electric with spectators packed 4 to 6 deep in the specially designed arena. Many fans were holding signs for their favorite participant and chanting well-rehearsed cheers. The most zealous of fans were even standing on desks and chairs/couches to see their favored participants, much to chagrin of our risk team. Spectators strained to hear the designated "counters" as the donuts were consumed. The throng became even more frenzied as the contestants blew past last year's record (Brent Cromley) of 15 without a hint of slowing down.  Finally, the crowd gave a collective gasp as Bryan Merrill's counter yelled "24!", and the final second ticked off. Wow! 24 donuts! Bryan Merrill buried the last year's record. Much like Zappos doing 12.4 million on Cyber Monday and burying the 7.8 million from 2009!). Brent graciously handed the gold-encased trophy to Bryan. And now it's time to train for next year!

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Zappos IP, Inc. Is Looking For "A Few Good Developers"

Zappos IP, Inc. is hiring developers , development jobs in SF LV

This quarter’s Tech All Hands meeting was a rousing success! In addition to covering all of the new and exciting work that’s gone on in the past several months like: iPad and iPhone Apps went live!- Customers can now shop on their iPhones and iPads as well as their computers and our 1-800 number.

Public API! - We launched our public API ( that allows the developer community to build their own applications with Zappos data.Zappos uses the API inhouse to power our mobile apps as well as various functions throughout the actual website.

Sizing Project Completed! - Reinvented how product measurement data is stored and processed to make it easier than ever to find the perfect fit for nearly any type of product.

And celebrating the team’s successes with awards, acknowledgements, and drinks like:
Grey Goose shots
Tequila shots
More Grey Goose shots

Everyone’s favorite CTO, Arun (pictured above),announced that Zappos IP, Inc. will be opening an office in SF. Will Young will be heading up the new office and had this to say:

“We are very excited to be opening up a small San Francisco office.  We’re jazzed to go back to the Zappos Family's Bay Area roots and surround ourselves by the many amazing people and companies who make the world a happier place through technology, arts and culture. The San Francisco office in some ways will be a mini-start-up within the Zappos Family.  Our office is going to focus on experimentation, incubation and off roadmap projects.  We will want to try a lot of fun and new zany things that might become the future of how people shop online or may end up in the huge pile of unused ideas “that sounded good at the time”.  We’re eager to work and partner with great Bay Area companies to really put out some WOW.”

We were entertained along the way with videos and skits covering everything from hunting bears (don’t ask) to “Zappos Next Live Model” featuring men in drag (you may not want to watch it).  But by far, the favorite video of the night featured a rendition of a well-known and loved scene from “A Few Good Men.” Check out our version below.

Everyone is super excited about the great work the team has done in 2010 and looking forward to 2011.  We are looking for “A Few Good Developers” to join both our Las Vegas and SF teams. And by “a few” we mean a lot!!!!! Check out all of the tech openings HERE


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Zappos iPhone App!

Shop from the palm of your hand with the new Zappos iPhone app!

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How to Scan QR Codes

iphone,applications,android,blackberry,QR codes,qr code,scanning qr codes,qr code reader,qr code scanner,smartphone applications,zappos qr codes,how to scan a qr code,

How many times have you come across these pixilated squares? On the pages of your favorite magazines, on your shopping bags, even on your cereal box, QR codes seem to be everywhere these days!

QR codes have quickly replaced URLs as a quick and easy way to get to a web page, video or  other digital experiences, right on your smartphone.

Want to get started on the QR code scanning craze? First, you need to install a QR code reader on your phone. There are lots of apps to choose from for every type of mobile device. Try NeoReader for the iPhone®, Barcode Scanner for Android® phones, and ScanLife for Blackberry®, iPhone or Android.

Once your app is installed, all you need to do to scan a QR code is to take a photo of the code. Then, depending on the app you have, it will ask you if you want to visit the target, or perform the action. The QR code will either take you to a website, show a video, send an SMS message, add the company to your contacts, follow them on Twitter, or add them as a Facebook friend.

That’s all there is to it! Happy scanning!

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The Mobile Development Team has been working long and hard to deliver an iPad app worthy of the Zappos Family name. We've been playing with it all day, and we really like what happens when you shake it while it's on the homepage (go ahead, give it a try!).

Ray Morgan from Zappos IP, Inc. tells us more.

If you have any feedback, please comment below.

Here's the link to download it onto your iPad today!


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Quickview is Live!

We recently launched a new feature on called Quickview, which allows customers to get a more in depth look at a product much faster. Darren F. from Zappos Development, Inc. tells us more!