Electrical retailers Currys and PC World are now allowing customers to buy and download software programs from their websites.
The pair say this new "digital one-stop-shop" makes them the first multi-channel retailers to offer software products from brands such as Microsoft, Adobe and McAfee, available online as software downloads, as well as in-store.
From today, visitors to www.currys.co.uk or www.pcworld.co.uk will be able to add digital downloads to their shopping basket in three steps. Software available to download will be flagged with an ‘available for download’ symbol. Customers can click on the symbol to add the software to their shopping basket.
After purchasing, customers will be emailed a link allowing them to download the product to their device.
A statement read: "Currys and PC World have seen a big rise in consumer demand for digital software solutions, and by providing an online solution for software downloads, will make it much easier for customers to get the software they need, whenever they need it.
"In addition, customers will no longer need to worry about losing their software – once downloaded; it remains accessible online through their customer account."
Mark Slater, Computing Director for Currys and PC World, added: “We are excited to be offering our customers the ability to buy and instantly use computer software where and when they need it.
"With the popularity of smaller, lighter laptops and tablets, as well as more and more PCs being sold without disc drives, this development is firmly in line with the trend towards convenient, downloadable content as and when people need it.”