Buy A Dell At Sears

from the changing-business-models? dept

Initially, I was surprised to hear that Dell was opening up a “store within a store” to sell their machines in retail stores, such as Sears. People have always said that Dell’s competitive advantage is their direct relationship with their customers, and their low-cost on build to order machines. Companies like HP couldn’t match them with the direct sales because it would alienate their retail store channel partners and the cost of inventory in stocking the channel made it so they couldn’t get their costs down either. So what is Dell doing in stores? Well, they’re not stocking much inventory. Really, the stores appear to be a way to showcase just a few Dell models, so potential buyers can see and test out the machines. Then they order them from a kiosk to be delivered at a later date – retaining most of the typical Dell business model. The only question, though, is how retailers feel about this, since Dell will still be competing with them by selling direct. Sears doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, which I think is the more sensible route. Clearly, people know that Dells exist. Pretedning they don’t means that 100% of the sales go directly to Dell. At least this way, if someone buys a Dell through Sears, Sears gets a cut. Best Buy, however, took the other route, and told Dell to peddle their wares somewhere else.

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Comments on “Buy A Dell At Sears”

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dorpus says:

Human Psychology

When making a big purchase, people do want to meet a real person, for reasons both rational and irrational. The sales person could advise the customer on things they might not have known. It is also scary to send away a lot of money to a remote address. Techies can sneer at the notion of “paying the middleman”, but the average consumer who doesn’t know too much is going to want hand holding. I’ve looked into Dell myself, but there were a lot of unanswered questions between all the options, so ended up buying retail.

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