If you’re going to do something stupid, do it well
So Dell has launched its own download store, describing it as “an online music and software superstore where consumers can easily download a wide variety of songs, and the most popular gaming and software titles”. And I suppose that’s fair enough.
Even though I give Dell a bit of a hard time about the fact it’s even attempting to rival the likes of Amazon and iTunes in this week’s podcast, my biggest problem isn’t with the fact it’s offering a download service; it’s that it’s doing it so badly.
When a big company like Dell puts out a poor service like this – and I’m talking about the lack of choice of tracks, the fact that prices are often in Euros rather than pounds, and the fact that some links don’t actually work – it reflects badly on them.
I’m not saying for a moment that Dell shouldn’t have some sort of direct download offering; I can’t argue with the sentiment of its press release, which wisely points out Dell gets more than a million visitors to its site each day, so it kind of makes sense to try and sell them things over and above chunks of hardware.
But unlike a bricks-and-mortar shop, it’s all too easy for visitors to take a look at what’s on offer and compare it to what’s available from services that are geared up to selling music, movies and software.
Dell should be partnering with one of those companies – effectively offering them space on its website for a share of the returns – rather than a company that’s got no brand awareness for consumers (have you heard of Nexway?).
An Amazon shop on Dell.co.uk? Absolutely. A Dell Download Store that charges me £5.75 to re-download a piece of software I’ve already bought? No way.