"The Client always comes first." Alex Genov, Zappos

24 April

Digitalk 2019 speaker Alex Genov from Zappos reveals the secrets behind the good online consumer experience. 



“Treat your customers as people first, not as consumers.” That’s the first advice which Alex Genov gives to the starting companies in the business. And he definitely has a detailed grasp on the subject. Genov is responsible for Customer Experience Management (CEM) at the American online retailer for shoes and clothing Zappos, part of the giant Amazon. He has gathered vast experience in consumer behavior and habits research and has applied his Experimental Social Psychology education amongst companies such as TurboTax (Intuit), State Farm Insurance and Active Network. His aim is to support the elaboration of products and platforms which facilitate the online services across customers and make them easier to use.


Genov is one of the guest speakers at this year’s edition of the conference for digital transformation DigitalK Conference 2019, organized by Capital, LAUNCHub and NEVEQ. The event will take place on May 30th and 31st in Sofia Event Center.


„The best way for a company to offer a personalized experience is to start from asking what is best for its clients. Thus the business builds trust in the consumer, who, in response, would share their personal data in order to enhance the shopping experiences. The end result is a long-term loyal relationship from a consumer perspective and growing popularity of the brand”, Genov shares with Capital.

After obtaining a PhD in Experimental Social Psychology from Clark University, Genov has worked on evaluation and research of emotions in online environment, as well as general differentiation between consumer types and clients’ segmentation. It is quite difficult to accomplish such a task online, so Zappos takes an advantage of its 20 years of experience in consumer relations across other channels, such as phone and direct marketing.


The three leading tendencies in Customer- Experience – Management according to Alex Genov:

  • Personalization, done in the right way
  • Initiatives for user data protection
  • Promotion of an entire experience, not just shopping

„There are several elements that make up emotions – open behavior (laughter), facial expression (frown), physiological reactions (increased heart beat), subjective experience (expression of feelings). If you want to measure emotions in a valid and reliable way, you have to measure some of these elements and bring the results together. There are different technologies and techniques which can do this online and at large scale – through research, online interviews, automatic emotion recognition (scanning the facial expression), and many more”, says Genov. 

According to Genov, technology such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many more are of an extreme importance for the online business development. But the secret behind Zappos’s success is simple: the client always comes first.“ Zappos is a customer service company, which happens to sell clothing products at the moment”, adds the expert.

The better customer experience nowadays has value, which is measured by the amount of consumer’s personal data shared with the vendor. For Genov there is one solution: communication between the company and the consumers should be completely transparent. “A business would win its clients’ trust if it always puts their interest in the first place, protects their private data and asks the client for permission to use this data in order to improve the customer service.”

Alex Genov’s goal for the next few years is to implement Zappos’ phone customer service excellence, which helped the company win many clients throughout the years, into the digital environment. This is the only way the established by Tonny Shei in 1999 retailer, with over 1500 employees and tens of millions customers, can remain a preferred destination for online shopping.



DigitalK Conference 2019 is almost here! 2 days of inspiring content, 40+ international speakers, workshops, dynamic networking, potential investment opportunities, future partneships, startup competition with a prize of 10,000 Euro and much more.


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