Dell, Amazon.com Link Sites, Pledge Further Cooperation

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Dell Computer Corp. and Amazon.com yesterday agreed to link to each other's Web sites in order to leverage the traffic each of the two companies generates and to build a foundation for future collaborative marketing efforts between the two fast-growing Internet titans.


Users of the Dell site (www.dell.com) can jump to a co-branded page on the Amazon.com site (Dell@Amazon.com), which offers computer-related books and access to the full Amazon.com Web site offering a selection of books, music products and videos. Amazon.com shoppers, meanwhile, can transfer to a customized welcome page on Dell's Web site through a link in the their confirmation reports after they make a purchase from the online retailer.


"This sets the stage for additional customized shopping experiences that both Dell and Amazon will work to bring to our customers," said Ram Shriram, vice president of business development at Amazon.com, in a conference call with reporters. "The ability to bring highly personalized and specialized information about recommended reading or recommended system information will be of value."


Neither company would speculate about what additional developments might evolve from the partnership. The companies also declined to discuss the terms of the agreement.


"Today is a statement of direction," said Paul Bell, senior vice president of Dell's home and small business group. "Dell and Amazon plan to work together to develop a whole range of services that will benefit our mutual customers."


The alliance was announced on the same day that Dell rival Compaq Computer Corp. announced the completion of its purchase of Shopping.com, another e-commerce entity that Compaq plans to spin off as part of its Alta Vista Internet portal subsidiary.


Dell said Amazon.com is the first site that Dell has linked to from its site, and the Dell site is the first computer-systems site to which Amazon.com has linked.


Amazon.com, which began as an online bookstore specializing in computer-related books, expanded first into a wider array of book categories and then into music and video products. The company recently acquired a stake in online pharmacy Drugstore.com, has said it planned to venture into numerous other product lines.


For Dell, the move follows by about a week the launch of Gigabuys.com, the software-and-accessories Web site that is linked with the Dell site. Both the formation of Gigabuys.com and the alliance with Amazon.com are expected to give Dell more exposure to home consumers.


Although Amazon.com does not disclose the rate of site visitation, the company said it has more than 6.2 million customers. Dell said it receives about 25 million visits per quarter to its site, and generates $14 million in sales per day, or about 25 percent of its sales, through the site. The company said it hoped to generate half its total sales through its Web site by the year 2002.
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