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Dell rejiggers site to boost sales

In another step toward its stated goal of making half of its sales online by 2000, Dell revamped its Web site, chiefly by attempting to simplify its look.

In another step toward its goal of making half of its sales online by 2000, Dell revamped its Web site and simplified its look.

The revised site aims to speed navigation while presenting more information on any given page, according to the Round Rock, Texas, company. also adds a feature or two, such as the ability to custom configure a system and store the order for later purchase.

Last month, Dell chief executive Michael Dell touted the fact that the direct vendor had created some 2,000 custom pages within the site in order to persuade its corporate customers to buy online. Businesses account for 70 percent of Dell's total sales, according to Dell.

Currently, online sales are moving at a rate of $1.5 billion a year. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Dell said worldwide sales generated via the Internet exceeded $5 million per day, compared with online sales of about $1 million a day during the first quarter of last year.

The site is drawing visitors at a rate of 85 million annually, Dell said last month. Localized in 42 countries and 12 languages, it's most popular in Japan, where 40 percent of Dell consumer sales are online. However, Japan accounts for a tiny portion of Dell's overall sales.

For each online purchase, the company saves $8 in human resources, Dell has said.