(NAPSI)—Getting the right software for your company doesn’t have to be hard if you heed the recent research.
For instance, a major online resource for business software buyers has found that reviews are vital to software vendors seeking growth in the small and midsize business market. The research was done by Capterra, the market leader for most verified reviews available to software purchasing decision makers. It revealed that marketing-related software saw a 591 percent increase in published reviews, and network security software experienced a 463 percent increase—validating that marketing tools and security platforms are key priorities for small-business growth.
“Our research shows that buyers count on reviews to help them make informed purchasing decisions. At Capterra we strive to help buyers make the best decision possible and reaching 500,000 verified reviews on Capterra.com shows our commitment to providing software buyers with a platform they can trust,” said Anthony Bradley, Group Vice President of Research. “We saw a 50 percent increase in reviews published on the site since 2017, and more reviews were published in the first half of 2018 than in the eight years between 2008 and 2016. This validates that people now both contribute to and rely on user reviews as resources to help each other make better purchasing decisions,” he added.
The top-10 high-growth, trending software categories are:
• Graphic Design (591 percent growth)
• Presentation (533 percent growth)
• Network Security (463 percent growth)
• Web Conferencing (410 percent growth)
• Meeting Platforms (390 percent growth)
• Issue Tracking (298 percent growth)
• IT Service (295 percent growth)
• IT Service Management (295 percent growth)
• Website Builders (291 percent growth)
• Objectives and Key Results (290 percent growth)
The top-10 review categories are:
• Project Management
• Task Management
• Customer Relationship Management
• File Sharing
• Billing and Invoicing
• Time Tracking
• Lead Management
“Buying and selling trends are constantly changing. Vendors also count on reviews to gain the trust of potential customers and stand out from the competition,” explained Bradley. Customer opinions make the software capabilities “real” for in-market buyers. In fact, they bond with the product through other reviewers’ experiences. The study identified six key takeaways on the vendor value of software user reviews and how to use them in the sales process:
• Unbiased reviews help gain the trust of potential customers: Because buyers recognize inherent bias from product sales teams, they actively seek unbiased sources to balance their software analysis. In-market buyers believe that finding the right company is just as critical as finding the right software. Reputation and sustained delivery of quality products and services matter.
• Third-party sites are considered more credible than a business’s own site: Customers believe that reviews on most third-party sites—meaning, beware of fake reviews sites—are more credible than reviews showcased on a software vendor’s site. Software buyers view third-party sites as more independent with nothing to gain from cherry-picking positive reviews over reviews with negative feedback or low ratings.
• Detailed information about reviewers is necessary to confirm their trustworthiness: Descriptive information provided along the purchasing decision journey is another way to establish credibility in reviews. It doesn’t mean requesting names or other personal information from reviewers, but it does mean asking for detailed information concerning a reviewer’s experience with the product. The more detail, the better.
• Showcase reviews that discuss specific problems in specific industries: Specific details help prospects identify whether a product works for people like them and businesses like theirs. Buyers tend to gravitate toward reviewers within their industry who experience the same issues and pain points. They must illustrate how it works and which problems it solves, beyond whether it works well or not.
• Focus on showcasing recent reviews: Three out of four customers think reviews are outdated if older than three months. Reviews should reflect changes and updates, so make regular reviews acquisition a top priority.
• Having all positive reviews hurts more than it helps: Software buyers are actively looking for trustworthiness signals. If they find only positive reviews, it seems to be too good to be true and skepticism ensues. The most effective reviews are balanced and cultivated by honest feedback complete with pros and cons.
“Reviews are no longer a luxury or a nice-to-have add-on to brand and product marketing; they’re a competitive necessity,” said Bradley. The good news is that it’s not too late to get into the reviews game, and businesses can leverage platforms such as Capterra as an outlet for unbiased, trustworthy feedback to empower its users and prospects.
For further facts, see www.capterra.com.