Is it Possible to be Everything to Everybody?

 As I hinted in my last post here, a rather large 2D web project has been taking my focus away from 3D initiatives lately. That project is a redesign of the home page of Dell.com.

How can one single web page be a big project?  When it's a page that gets more than 35 million visitors a week.  When it is the subject of some of the most popular posts on IdeaStorm. When that one page is the entryway to both a corporate and a commerce site. When it must appeal to everyone from individual consumers to large corporate clients, from institutional investors to mainstream media and citizen journalists. When it has to be a place where a student can research a company for their freshman business action lawsuit, and purchase a computer upon which to write that same paper.

This is the challenge faced as we roll out a  beta test of a new design today in the United States. Canada will follow next week. More regions will offer the beta in the future. Here's how it will work: 20% of visitors to Dell.com over the next week will be randomly selected for this beta test. 10% of that test audience will see the page as it is today. The other 10 % will see the redesigned page.  We will then compare clickstream data and basic metrics from those two groups to determine if the new page works or not.

How will we know if it works? If customers tell us it is easier to find the right level of information they need-whether that means finding support for existing products or researching information for future purchases, or adding to the conversation. We don't want to be an Irrelevant Corporate Website. To us, that means integrating community sites such as this blog, the Dell Community Forum, StudioDell and more. Customers like jorge are telling us the same thing on IdeaStorm.

Click on the image below to see a larger version of the screenshot. 


What the redesign doesn't do is what many have voted for—eliminate customer segmentation. We still believe segmentation offers benefits for the customer and here's one reason why: when we have discussions with customers many of them say they dislike being asked to segment themselves when they begin shopping on dell.com; but, many also tell us that they use technology in very different ways and have different needs.  An example of this is a recent survey of small business owners and decision makers conducted by Dell and the International Council for Small Business.  This sort of feedback went into the development of the new Vostro line of notebooks and desktops, as well as the suite of services designed specifically to support small businesses.  As Dell continues to differentiate the products and services we offer our customers, segmentation will begin to make more sense to site visitors.

So, if you visit Dell.com over the next week and see the new design, feel free to click on the "feedback" link at the footer of the page to let us know what you think.  Or, you can come back here and share your comments on this post.  I look forward to hearing even more opinions on this challenging page.

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.