Learn how to use software reviews to pick the right software for your business.
It can take two years (24 months), on average, for a small to midsize business to go through the software-buying process. That’s a lot of time to devote to a software search, especially when your time could be better spent growing your business.
Fortunately, you can cut down on the time spent searching for software. In a 2018 survey of small and midsize businesses, respondents who first accessed software reviews and directories spent an average of 22 months on their entire software-buying journey, five months less than those who started with generic web searches and social media (27 months).
Use these 4 tips to start your search with business software reviews
So now you know that you can save time by starting with review websites and software directories, compared to just Googling. But how should you best use those reviews?
Below are four tips on using business software reviews to better inform your software search.
1. Find user reviews relevant to your job and industry
To get the most out of reviews, look for those by people like you. By finding reviews relevant to your job and industry, you can trust the reviewer’s perspective and look for more targeted, specific commentary that speaks to your needs. If there are size- or industry-specific concerns related to your software search, people like you reviewing software will likely share those concerns.
Each product review in Capterra’s software directory features the reviewer’s job title, industry, number of employees, and time spent using the software.
Capterra product reviews showcase a reviewer’s job title, industry, and company size
Capterra’s software directory has over 1 million verified user reviews. That means it’s that much easier to find reviews relevant to your experience when browsing software products. When you’re on a product page, view all reviews and filter by company size to find reviews from businesses similar to yours.
2. Identify common themes in the reviews
When browsing software reviews, keep a close eye on recurring themes in the comments. The themes that matter most to you will depend on your priorities and goals, but they could include the following:
- Complaints or praise for the user interface
- Comments about how easy it is to use
- Appreciation for or lack of a particular feature
- Comments on the software’s impact on the business
- Complaints or praise for the vendor’s customer service
If a certain theme is coming up again and again in the user reviews, that’s a sign that you would have a similar experience.
3. Pinpoint your feature needs using reviews
Many Capterra reviewers provide rich detail on how they use a particular software product for their business. Take the time to read through reviews from people like you and take note of any features they call out as essential. Use this information to further refine your software requirements and feature needs.
If you’re new to a type of software, you may not be aware of all the features that are even available. Browse reviews to discover more about what this type of software can do and how others are using it.
For products with pricing tiers based on the features you would have access to, reading reviews could help you determine your “must-have” features versus those that would be “nice to have.” This knowledge can help you when considering budget and evaluating pricing plans later on.
4. Take advantage of research based on user reviews
Browsing software reviews can take time. If you don’t have the bandwidth for a deep dive on user feedback, take advantage of research that’s already done that work for you.
At Capterra, we frequently use our reviews data to make software selection simpler. Take a look at Top 20 reports for your software category to see products with the highest number of reviews and search volume.
On the Capterra blog, our analysts regularly conduct research to bring you top-rated product roundups using business software reviews. Check out our reviews-focused content to help make your shortlist or browse the blog categories to find other posts helpful to your industry.
The dos and don’ts of using software reviews
As you can see, business software reviews are an invaluable resource for those looking to purchase new software for their business.
For more guidance on how to use reviews in your software, download this quick chart of dos and don’ts.
Contribute to the value of business software reviews
If you’re already using business software, add your review to Capterra. By doing so, you can join the over 1 million reviewers who are helping other users like you find the best software to help grow their business.
Information on Capterra’s “Small-Business Software Buying Trends” survey
Capterra conducted this survey in July and August 2018 among 420 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) based in the U.S., Germany, and France. Respondents were screened for company size and revenue to qualify as SMBs. Qualified respondents were decision-makers or had a significant influence on decisions related to purchasing technologies for their organization.
They were required to have purchased at least one piece of software valued at $5,000 or more within the past 12 months. Respondents were required to be at least office managers, influencing software purchase decisions in their organizations.
Disclaimer: Results do not represent “global” findings or the market as a whole but reflect the sentiment of the respondents and companies surveyed.