CompUSA To Offer Software Burning Service

The system will allow consumers to purchase software from over 200 publishers at a kiosk that will burn the CD and produce printed instructions and a registration key in under five minutes. Over 1,200 titles will be available from major software vendors, including Microsoft.

From CompUSA’s press release:

CompUSA, Inc., one of the nation’s leading retailers and resellers of technology products and services, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Protocall Technologies Inc. of Commack, New York, to install its SoftwareToGo electronic software delivery system in all CompUSA stores nationwide. CompUSA will be the first retail chain in the country to utilize the SoftwareToGo technology as a new in-store distribution channel for software sales.
The first installations, at 25 CompUSA locations in the Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle market regions, will be completed in December. The remainder of the chain will receive their SoftwareToGo systems in early 2004.

SoftwareToGo is the first electronic software delivery system designed for the retail selling floor. Protocall developed the system as a vehicle to enable retailers to expand their software product offerings and increase sales despite a persistent environment of shrinking shelf space. The on-demand SoftwareToGo system will enable CompUSA to offer a virtually limitless library of software titles to its customers, without increasing the amount of real estate it devotes to boxed software products in-store. In addition, the electronic delivery system ensures 100% in-stock product availability, without the cost and handling of maintaining physical inventory.

“We are pleased to expand the software offering in our stores with the new SoftwareToGo system. Software ToGo is the perfect complement to our software business,” said Tony Weiss, President of CompUSA’s Stores, Chief Operating Officer. “Electronic delivery will enable us to offer our publishers full catalogue coverage and to grow our software sales significantly by increasing our selection without increasing the amount of floor space we devote to the category.”

CompUSA is dedicating prominent end-cap positions on major aisles in every retail store for SoftwareToGo Product Preview Stations. A multi-million dollar national marketing campaign to support the launch, both in-store and in the consumer marketplace, kicks off in January 2004.

How It Works

SoftwareToGo is comprised of a customer-operated touch-screen terminal and a burn-to-order station that instantly produces CD-ROMs on site. The consumer-friendly system is as easy to use as an ATM. Simple instructions on the touch-screen guide customers through a 1-2-3-4 step process. Multiple search features allow customers to browse titles by product name, category, publisher, price or other criteria. On-screen product demonstrations can also be performed. In just a few minutes, the finished product is in the customer’s hands, complete with full-color packaging and publisher’s Certificate of Authenticity.

Over 200 publishers, including 5 of the top 10, currently list more than 1000 software titles in the SoftwareToGo system. Recognizing the advantages of electronic delivery as a channel to increase sales, new publishers are joining the system and new titles are being added to the growing SoftwareToGo library on a continual basis.

Bruce Newman, President of Protocall Technologies, said, “CompUSA is the ideal partner to help us introduce this important new technology on the software selling floor. As the first retailer to adopt the SoftwareToGo system, CompUSA recognizes the value of electronic delivery in expanding the software market and is setting a new industry benchmark for meeting the converging needs of consumers, publishers and retailers.”