Dell generates more online sales with SMS alerts

Chat bubble with clock

4 weeks

to implement Twilio SMS notifications

Computer with user group


largest PC vendor worldwide

Planet Earth

#1 shipper

of PC monitors globally

Dell uses SMS notifications to facilitate instant communication with customers about the status of their orders, keeping them informed even during peak online shopping periods such as Black Friday.

Driving innovation

With a private ownership structure, Dell is flexible and entrepreneurial, allowing it to do what it does best—serving customers while driving internal technology innovations that help Dell achieve its sales goals.

When Dell needed to implement order confirmations via SMS in time for Black Friday and the retail’s critical fourth quarter shopping season, it had to move quickly. Dell implemented Twilio SMS in mere weeks, enabling communication that kept customers informed about order status at all times.

Delivering instant updates

One reason Dell turned to Twilio was to inform customers of credit card holds. Suspected credit card fraud can lead to a hold on a consumer’s credit card and put an unexpected halt to a purchase on, something Dell’s consumer and small business customers had experienced all too often. Imagine that a customer is ready to upgrade her laptop. She’s carefully chosen and customized the new computer and clicked “order.” On her end, everything works. But what the customer doesn’t know is that the credit card company flagged the order as fraudulent, and the payment is on hold.

Previously, when the order was flagged by the credit card company, Dell would send an email to the customer within 24 hours, but it often ended up in junk mail. After that, a customer care representative would call the customer, frequently reaching voicemail. In too many cases, Dell was unable to reach the customer and resolve the payment issue, which led to a highly unsatisfied customer as well as a lost sale.

In addition, customers frequently called customer care to ask about their order status. These inbound and outbound calls required costly resources. Dell needed to find a way to greatly reduce customer escalations related to order status.

Email and phone were no longer sufficient means to communicate effectively with customers. Dell began looking for a capability to better communicate with customers. The answer was SMS. Based on research, 98% of all SMS messages are read in the first 4-6 minutes of delivery, compared to 22% for email.

A solution with global reach and scale

Dell evaluated several internal and external texting solutions, none of which provided the global reach or API capabilities that allowed it to standardize on a single platform.

Dell turned to Twilio for its ability to handle high volume as well as scale globally. Plus, Twilio enabled Dell to quickly implement the SMS notification solution just in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the subsequent holidays.

“With Twilio, we went from concept to implementation in just 4 weeks.”

Amer Chowdhry Senior Product Manager

Today, SMS enables Dell to keep the customer informed and satisfaction high. Twilio plays an important role in lost sale prevention. For example, consumers shopping on for Black Friday are also making purchases on multiple other sites. If a customer’s credit card is put on fraud hold by the bank, Dell automatically and immediately sends the customer a text notification that the order was placed on hold. While the purchase process is still fresh in the customer’s mind, he can quickly rectify the issue, contacting his credit card company and Dell to complete the sale.

Dell also uses Twilio to power order tracking by text. For this, an SMS is triggered when an order ships, so a customer can link to the shipping information and easily track the package.

Keeping customers informed

Now, Dell customers are getting what they want: timely communication from their technology store of choice. “Twilio really helps us achieve our goal to keep the customer informed at all times, and customers love it,” said Chowdhry.

As a result of using Twilio for order confirmations, Dell has seen an increase in sales due to its lost sale prevention solution. Dell has also experienced a hefty reduction in escalations triggered by order issues and reduced customer care costs by proactively reaching out to customers about payment issues.

Learn More

To see how you can set up SMS alerts for your customers, visit our account notifications page here.


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