I just bought my 3rd pair of shoes from Zappos (Zappos is owned by Amazon), and I was treated with this:
This is genius. Zappos knows that I'm well on my way to becoming a regular customer. At this point, they want me to fall in love with them. Once I fall in love, it will be hard to fall out.
Everything is done right: The big VIP badge, free next day shipping on my next order, sharing options, and even early access to new styles at vip.zappos.com tha makes me feel special.
I've been hooked on Amazon for years. I rarely purchase something from retail other than food; everything goes through Amazon. The convenience, the Prime shipping, and the sense of security I have shopping with them is extremely valuable. Chances are, I'll be an Amazon customer until the day I die.
What a beautiful strategy. As Warren Buffet said, "In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats." Amazon's moat: the lowest possible prices made possible by enormous economies of scale and remarkably low overhead, and extreme customer loyalty achieved by offering world-class customer service.