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Main Points

Based on the Weixin ecosystem, Dell has been able to establish an omnichannel sales system that centers around its Mini Program store and also integrates public and private channels including Weixin service accounts, communities, WeCom, Weixin Channels, and Weixin Moments. The Mini Program serves as Dell's own mobile online store, omnichannel membership center, and service center at the same time. Customers can now enjoy the same membership benefits offline and online. The Mini Program is also integrated with other private channels, such as Weixin groups and WeCom, allowing the company to achieve more refined user management and build a system that covers everything from customer reach and engagement to conversion and service. By bridging its offline factories and stores with its online system, Dell is able to direct all customers to its Mini Program and other owned channels and then use tiered user management policies to extend the customer lifecycle and grow its business.

Company Introduction

Dell is a Fortune 500 company and a famous computer brand with operations worldwide. Known for its direct sales model, Dell launched its website in 1996, which went on to become one of the world's largest e-commerce sites. The company entered the China market in 1998, bringing with it its sales strategies including direct sales, product customization, and zero inventory.

Dell went through four stages while growing its private traffic pool in China. During the first stage in the 1990s, the company pursued its direct sales strategy. Using this model, it managed to establish a stable customer base. The second stage started when Dell opened its Weixin service accounts. Over a span of years, the total number of followers of Dell's and its sub-brands' service accounts grew to six million, which became the company's earliest private traffic pool. The third stage was marked by the rise of Weixin Mini Programs. Dell set up a store on Weixin using Youzan's Mini Program solution and integrated the store with its service accounts. In the fourth stage, Dell launched its self-built Mini Program and finally established an omnichannel ecosystem that covers everything from content creation to customer service to transactions on the Weixin platform. Based on its direct sales model, Dell's business presence on Weixin grew rapidly, which further strengthened its competitiveness in the market.

For more than 20 years, Dell has continuously expanded in China, growing its supply chain, R&D, and manufacturing capabilities and building its customer service system and teams locally. In 2021, Dell generated an all-time high revenue of 101.2 billion USD, shipping a total of 59.3 million computers.


Dell's official website is a traditional kind of online store and is intended for global users. However, in China, online sales rely more heavily on mobile users. Given this, Dell needed a mobile online store tailored to Chinese customers' internet habits that, at the same time, offers excellent user experience.

In addition, as mobile customer acquisition costs climbed, rather than paying media outlets an increasingly higher price to maintain its customer base and business presence, Dell chose to operate its own mobile store so as to attract more natural traffic and lower its customer acquisition costs.

Best practices

1. Official Mini Program Store

Dell began operating an official mobile store on Weixin in 2021. Because Weixin service accounts and Mini Programs are integrated with each other, Dell was able to direct the followers of its service accounts to the Mini Program store. As Weixin added more entry points to Mini Programs and more users learned to use and search for Mini Programs, Dell's Mini Program store received an increasing amount of natural traffic, which helped reduce its customer acquisition costs. Meanwhile, Mini Programs can collect and analyze customer data, which helped the company improve CRM efficiency. This is evidenced by the fact that the three-year repeat purchase rate (> 14%) and lifetime value (> 2,000 USD) of Dell's Mini Program store are higher than all other Dell channels. Even so, as it entered a new stage, Dell faced the challenge of how to continuously grow the traffic pool and business scale of its Mini Program store.

With the Mini Program store being an extension of Dell's sales reach, it's important for its manager to have a product- and user growth-oriented mindset. The questions to ask include: Who are the target users of the Mini Program store? What makes customers want to revisit the store? What customer needs does the Mini Program address?

Dell's private traffic pool consists mainly of customers who are already users of its products. To maximize sales efficiency, Dell implemented different strategies for different channels. Specifically, it continued to invest in public media to win new customers while focusing on improving repeat purchase rates through its private channels. To better meet the needs of its existing customers, Dell launched a membership credit system and a pre-sales and after-sales service system through its Mini Program. The Mini Program store has since served as Dell's self-owned sales channel, omnichannel membership center, and service center, becoming a pivotal platform for the company's operations across all channels.

As an online store, Dell's Mini Program offers a wide assortment of products, including those with a low price and high purchase frequency such as computer accessories and services. Computers for both individual users and business users are offered and are mostly stock products. Various promotional campaigns were launched to educate customers about Mini Programs so that more and more customers would place their orders via the Mini Program store.

As a membership center, the Mini Program integrates Dell's online and offline membership data, allowing customers to enjoy the same shopping experience no matter what channel they use. There are also many Mini Program-only benefits, including credit redemption, warranty extension, and special product looks. These can help increase repeat purchase rates and customer retention.

As a service center, the Mini Program store has continuously improved user experience by offering product customizations and special services that are more attractive than those offered by other channels. These include online warranty activation, international warranty services, online technical support before and after sales, appointments for on-site repair, ticket status checking, and engineer contact information.

While continuing to improve the features and positioning of its Mini Program store, Dell began to direct customers from offline stores, third-party e-commerce platforms, and other channels to its Weixin service accounts, Mini Program, and WeCom. One of the most effective ways the company has done this is by adding QR codes to computers, built-in software, and product manuals and encouraging customers to scan the code for access to after-sales service and membership benefits. By the end of 2022, Dell had managed to bring 80% of its customers from traditional sales channels to its owned channels. Among them, 40% registered as members in the Mini Program store, and 30% bound a device.

In Dell's offline stores, about 10-25% of shoppers show interest in a product without actually making a purchase. However, by directing these high-potential customers to its owned channels, Dell is able to convert them using more targeted strategies. This requires the joint efforts of its resellers, offline store employees, and the company headquarters. The most challenging and crucial task is keeping all parties motivated while at the same time catering to their needs. For example, to mobilize resellers, Dell can set targets and offer subsidies to offline stores to direct more traffic online while at the same time referring more customers back to the offline stores to make their first purchase.

2. Matching Customers with Channels

In addition to the Mini Program, Dell also operates Weixin service accounts, Weixin communities, WeCom, Weixin Channels, and Weixin Moments, establishing a system that covers everything from customer reach and engagement to conversion and service inside the Weixin ecosystem.

Dell's service accounts mainly use content to reach potential customers and gain new followers. The followers are then directed to Dell's Mini Program, WeCom, and Weixin communities, where Dell then implements different customer management strategies depending on the platform. For example, it uses Weixin communities mainly for customer engagement, using various campaigns and events to build customer loyalty. WeCom, on the other hand, is used by Dell's salespeople to convert potential customers. Dell also uses WeCom to offer one-to-one after-sales service, boosting customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships with customers.

Thanks to the synergy among the various channels Dell has set up inside the Weixin ecosystem, Dell is able to more effectively educate and retain its customers. This in turn has allowed it to gain a better insight into customer behavior and create more comprehensive user personas and user behavior tags. By taking full advantage of such information, Dell can make better decisions to advance its business. For example, it can use the insight obtained from analyzing customer behaviors in private channels to hone its public channel marketing strategies and consequently boost advertising effectiveness.

Dell collaborated with Tencent to classify its user groups and create user personas. Different user behavior tags can be used in combination in marketing. With the help of marketing automation tools, Dell is able to attend to every stage of the customer journey: Customer behaviors and reactions are analyzed while users' privacy is protected throughout the process, and based on the results, different marketing actions are triggered automatically. In addition, as customers navigate through different channels, Dell can gather cross-channel insights, review the entire customer journey from contact to conversion, and make continuous improvements to drive its business growth. With regard to marketing content, Dell uses the customer satisfaction model to meet customers' needs before, during, and after sales, deliver a personalized experience (such as product FAQs, self-service warranty activation, and birthday offers), and based on user actions (such as clicking or entering the store), determine what content to push next (new product introductions, discounts, accessory upgrades, referrals to WeCom or other channels).

Finally, in terms of team management, Dell's private channel operation team is made up of store managers, marketing personnel, membership managers, product managers, and data analysts, the most important being talents with expertise in CRM, product management, and data analysis. Dell uses standard reports to manage the KPIs of different teams and ensure that synergy is achieved among them. Currently, Dell has achieved preliminary results in terms of omni-channel operation.


As of now, Dell has accrued six million followers and 3.4 million Mini Program members. Its FY 2023 revenue is up by 62% from FY 2022. Revisits hit 1.3 million, with an average of 12 visits per existing customer. The natural traffic it received grew by 108% year on year.

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