Confusing Internet Shoppers from A (Amazon) to Z (Zappos)

The new Zappos-sponsored security tray ads have a lot of travelers asking “Why didn’t I think of that?” while passing through New York area airports.

But rather than promoting travel-friendly shoes, bags or laptop cases, Zappos has decided to use the clever medium to pitch the breadth of it product lines, like home goods (above) and cosmetics.

So now I’m confused: Should I buy my new electric coffee pot from Zappos or Amazon, its new parent company? And will Zappos continue to sell what I really want to buy from them—shoes?

As the two companies work behind the scenes to merge their world-class customer service and logistics capabilities, they need to differentiate their brand strategies, too.

Trying to be all things to all people is a sure way for both companies to get booted out of consumers’ screening lines.