The Competitive Advantages Zappos

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This article is a discussion about the competitive advantages Zappos has, using resource based view and dynamic capabilities analysis. Although there are SWOT framework and Porter’s five forces model etc. to understand the firm’s competitive advantage, those are environmental analysis, which is “only the half story” as Barney,(1995) suggested. So, an analysis of a firm’s internal strengths and weaknesses is required. Barney (2001) states "resource-based logic can help managers more completely understand the kind of resources that help generate sustained strategic advantages, help them use this understanding to evaluate the full range of resources their firm may possess, and then exploit those resources that
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But market is dynamic, during these 10 years, more and more shopping websites are established, since if a firm hands competitive advantage, others will always attempt to imitate it, although Zappos is still running smoothly, the same capability, may not pass the VRIO test. On the other hand, from he view of dynamic capability, zappos operation model was to provide exceptional product selection by padre rim with shoe companies, then it changed, all shipments were from its own inventory, (Z,10) because the old model lacks of accuracy and had unreliable information updates. Undeniably, one of Zappos competence is their distribution system, Zappos noticed that there should be some changes, not only the shipping model, also include the allocation of ground delivery, ship delivery and air delivery, or the facilitating of automatic machines, as time goes by, Zappos is always updating this competency. Dynamic capability can be seen as a critique of RBV, There is also literature suggesting, that DC is outcome of RBV, Dynamic capability is defined as capabilities that endow firms with competitive advantage in changing environments. Both capabilities and DC are “organization”. A DC is the VRIO’s “O”. To be a source of competitive advantage it must be VRI. So dynamic capability can be seen as a firm integrate its valuable, rare and costly imitated resources over times. From this perspective, when we analyze Zappos distribution competency, we can also say that Zappos is organizing its distributing resource and equipping it in order to be responsive to address the changes taking place in the environment. (Zolo and Winter,
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