Dell is a premier provider of computer systems, products and services used by customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Dell led commercial migration to the Internet, launching www.dell.com in 1994 and adding e-commerce capability in 1996.The following year, Dell became the first company to record $1million in online sales. Today, Dell operates one of the highest volume Internet commerce sites in the world. The company's website receives 775 million page requests per quarter at 80 country sites in 27 languages/dialects and 40 currencies. Dell is increasingly realizing Internet-associated efficiencies throughout its business, including procurement, customer support and relationship management. At www.dell.com, customers may review, configure, and price systems from Dell's entire product line; order online; and track orders from manufacturing through shipping. .
In 1998, Dell expanded the online customer base beyond the low-volume accounts that make up the majority share of the direct marketer's Web sales today. According to Bill Morris, Dell's Senior Online Marketing Manager, a major focus was to do business with major customers online. Dell's push was designed to attract major corporate and government accounts to the online parade. The initiatives included: .
New software to integrate Dell's back-end system with those of its customers; .
An extranet to link suppliers to Dell's manufacturing facilities; .
Additional technical support and value-added services; .
A new ordering site in Asia. .
The Internet fitted neatly into Dell's build-to-order and direct-sales strategies, which have become the envy of the industry. Over 400,000 people visit the Dell site weekly, and about 40 percent end up in the ordering section. Dell officials have said one-third of all company sales come from its Web site. To help customers integrate Dell's ordering system with customers' internal approval processes, in 1998 Dell began beta testing software that integrated customers' back-end order processing system with the new process.