Xobni – Coming to a store near you!

by Britton Glasser

This week, Xobni entered new territory – The retail store.  Yes, Xobni, an online software company (with over 5 million downloads in 2 years) has actually gone to the effort to design a box, put our software on discs, and navigate the retail distribution channels to offer Xobni Plus for Outlook in retail stores across the country such as Fry’s and Office Max – as well as on Amazon.com.  It seems rather retro, but we discovered big opportunity…

Xobni for Outlook

The idea of putting Xobni in a box was initially met with resistance and doubt, but after a little digging, we saw big opportunity for sales and brand awareness.  From our research, we learned a few things – People of all ages, genders and demographics are shopping in stores.  Many of us do it.  And some people like to feel, hold, and see before they purchase.

We conducted a Harris survey (June, 2010; 2174 responses) which showed that 80% of respondents who plan to purchase software in the next 12 months said they were at least somewhat likely to buy software from brick-and-mortar retail stores (40% said they were extremely likely or very likely).  Being in-store also builds brand awareness and validation.  Something about being on a shelf makes it automatically more trustworthy to some.  According to our survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they are more likely to buy software if they’ve seen it in stores.  So while we are confident that being in retail stores will be a rewarding distribution channel for us, we also think it will have an impact on our online software sales.

In addition to the fact that some people are still buying some software in stores and the brand building benefits, it also didn’t hurt that millions will be flocking to stores starting this month to purchase Microsoft Office 2010.  As you probably know if you are reading this blog, Xobni is a great add-in for Outlook, and makes sense for us to have a presence right next to it in stores for consumers to easily purchase.

It’s been an interesting road… a fast-moving, agile online software company stepping into the notoriously slow offline world.  And a note to our environmentally conscious friends: We’re one of you.   All the packaging materials are made from sustainably grown forests.

We’ll be posting another blog post later this week about the adjustment our awesome in-house designers had to make when learning the ins and outs of designing a box that sits on shelves!

box2 - love again

3 Responses to “Xobni – Coming to a store near you!”

  1. 1 Vinod June 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Very interesting move. If done properly retailing works as it is evident through Apple iStores. Wish you all the best.

  2. 3 Greg Goslin July 19, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I am trying to change email address that I bought Xobni for and also the other person in my company. I have been having trouble getting the Xobni plus that we paid for to recognize the new address and I see support as a major issue for the company and the program. Not having anyone to call or even email to get reasonable time response it a big problem and it took over 2 weeks to get a response with multiple emails in my inital attempt to get Plus working the first time. My request is simple and I hope my voice is heard. If anyone can help, please email me with a solution for both email accounts (including bauer@aec-consult.com)
    Thank you.

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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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