“Our ecommerce business sets us apart,” Jeff Clarke, Dell’s chief operating officer said yesterday. As Dell pivoted to serve home-based office workers during its fiscal first quarter, traffic surged to its ecommerce sites.

During the first few months of the pandemic, business was up and down among customer segments for I.T. products manufacturer and marketer Dell Technologies Inc. Orders rose in double digits among various business customer groups and consumers, but demand from small and medium-sized businesses softened as the pandemic led to shelter-in-place directives.

We successfully pivoted to all virtual engagements with hundreds of thousands of customer interactions.

But Dell pivoted with the rapid shift to the home-office operations of many of its business customers, relying more heavily on its expertise in selling through its websites at DellTechnologies.com for enterprise customers and Dell.com for small businesses and individual consumers. Orders from customers surged as Dell pivoted to engaging its customers through digital channels.

JeffClarke-DellTechnologies

Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, chief operating officer, Dell Technologies

“Our teams had to be nimble and quickly embrace a new sales motion,” Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and chief operating officer, said on a first-quarter conference call with stock analysts yesterday, according to transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha. “We successfully pivoted to all virtual engagements with hundreds of thousands of virtual customer interactions in the quarter.”

“And our ecommerce business,” he added, “sets us apart.” He noted that, in April, customer visits to DellTechnologies.com increased year over year by 77% and to Dell.com by 28%, “driven largely by interest in remote work offerings” ranging from personal computers to networking equipment for home offices. Dell lets customers place online orders through custom account portals or through publicly accessible Dell.com.

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Dell also relied on its global supply chain and trading partners to expedite order fulfillment and source products. “Our engineers and product teams delivered several critical solutions in the past couple of months, all from home,” Clarke said.

Dell said orders increased in the first quarter between 15% and 20% among government, healthcare, life sciences, and financial services. “We also saw very strong double-digit demand in consumer direct and solid high-single-digit demand in small business,” Clarke said.

The company said it also launched in Q1 a “payment flexibility program,” which includes financing at 0% interest rates and up to 180-day payment terms.

For the fiscal first quarter ended May 1, Dell Technologies reported:

● Net revenue was virtually unchanged from the year-earlier period at $21.897 billion, compared with $21.908 billion;

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● Net income of $182 million, down 45% from $329 million; and

● Gross profit increased 1% to $6.85 billion, resulting in a gross margin unchanged at 31%.

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