Thanks largely to iTunes, consumers worldwide have become used to the convenience of simply downloading their files or applications rather than having to purchase physical box products. South Africa, however, has been lagging behind in the electronic purchasing of products such as software and music. Until now.
With the addition of the Seacom and Eassy cables, South African digital consumers are waking up to the benefits of plentiful bandwidth. And with great bandwidth comes great accessibility.
PX Software is using the advent of plentiful bandwidth to move South African consumers further into the 21st century with the first local multi-vendor Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) service. The download store, www.pxsoftware.co.za, provides a wide variety of products, ranging from security software to utilities and educational software.
‚The mechanics of ESD are not that hard. In fact, it’s relatively easy to send bits of information over the internet to almost any target destination. Software companies have been moving their software products, updates and patches over the internet for years, albeit sometimes in hackneyed ways,‚ explains Bernice Thomas, e-Commerce Manager at PX Software.
You pay for an ESD product just like you would for one that would be physically shipped to you. The big difference is that after your payment is confirmed, you can immediately download the product to your computer and install it right away. There is no longer any need to pay for shipping costs and waiting for the big brown truck to drive across the country. You’ll be able to enjoy your software almost immediately ‚ all it takes is the download time of the product, which will vary depending on the size of the digital download.
The major attraction for digital distribution ‚ for both vendors and consumers ‚is its direct nature. In a world where lighter weight laptops, such as netbooks, are becoming more common, ESD makes things easier when an optical drive isn’t easily accessible. ‚Buying ESD is also better for the environment,‚ says Thomas. I’m not going to get all granola on you and try to quote you an exact environmental impact, but think of the savings of gasoline in shipping products, driving back and forth in your car to a retail store, or even the plastic manufactured and used for the CD jewel cases. With everyone getting worried about their ‚carbon footprint’, every little bit counts, so why not buy ESD if you can?‚
ESD offers other benefits to consumers too. With proactive email notification, users can get personalised and timely notice of availability of new releases, upgrades and patches, automatically. ESD also offers a personalised online software archive as well as 24/7 self-service capability.
‚The business case for committing to ESD is extremely compelling. Previous obstacles, including the availability of bandwidth and its affordability, have been removed and the benefits are self-explanatory,‚ says Thomas. “By marrying our experience in software distribution and e-commerce with ESD solutions, we are providing a world-class service that will guarantee customer satisfaction.‚