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Dell Direct and Not-so-Direct

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MARKETING 5000
Dell Direct and Not-So-Direct

Case Summary
When Dell started selling its computers in 1984 the company decided to sell its products directly to consumers through catalogs and phone orders cutting out the traditional middle men (wholesalers and retailers) the company handles all the interaction with customers.
The company was very successful in using that business model and in 1997 they were generating around $1 million a day in sales just from its online store only. With this success the company extended its business outside the United States. Also, increased its targets market to consumers, small businesses, large businesses, and government agencies.
Dell competitors such as Apple and Hewlett parked targeted the same markets but were selling their products through retailers and opening their own retail stores. Dell also tried selling through those mediums but the practice did not last long due to lower profit margin.
Due to competition, in 2007 the Dell forged alliance with retailers around the world and started selling its products in stores so they can gain some of the market share. The practice was a success and now the company sells its products through more than 50000 retailers worldwide. Dell made it easy for its customers who visit the online store to locate a desired product at a store near them so they can pick it up in store.
Another change the company made was they forge alliance VAR partners to provide them products for their customers. With all the changes the company made, Dell continues to sell its products directly to consumers and still considers it as a major key to its success. The company also sells refurbish computers on its online store and mail out millions of catalogs a year to its customers.
With the inception of social networking the company engages with customers via social media sites. This engagement only has…...

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