Why Buyers are Grateful for Reviews This Holiday Season

John Ferguson
December 4, 2019
Reviews & Research

Why Buyers are Grateful for Reviews This Holiday Season

As we enter the holiday season, it’s worth pausing to consider what we’re thankful for in our professional lives. If you’re involved with, or about to be involved with, buying software for your business, take a moment to appreciate user reviews.

Your peers have taken the time to share their experiences with you, the good, bad, and ugly, to help you along in your own buying journey. According to the 2020 B2B Buying Disconnect report, buyers like you use those reviews in a variety of ways, and often in multiple ways simultaneously. Check out some of the top reasons buyers told us they were grateful for reviews this holiday season.

Reviews Contain Information You Trust

If you don’t take a moment during the holiday season to tease your parental figures that their childhood deceptions about Santa gave you trust issues, you’re missing out on (good-natured?) ribbing opportunities. While software reviewers can’t give you back Santa, they are a crucial source of trusted information for buyers like you. According to our research, the most frequent problem reviews solve is surfacing relevant experiences from trusted sources—other users!

While you probably use more than one source of information when buying software, reviews almost certainly play a role. And it’s not just you! As reviews become more ubiquitous, buyers are putting more trust in reviews year-over-year.

The Real Pros and Cons

You don’t have to wait until December to find out which software have been naughty or nice! Over half (53%) of buyers who use reviews take notes on the pros and cons of the products they’re looking at. This is one area where TrustRadius readers have felt the impact of reviews:

Pros and Cons. Getting real reviews from people who use the software is the next best thing to buying, learning and reviewing it. We can now see if its a good fit by the company size and when it was updated.”

  Charles K. | Founder | Marketing and Advertising Company

Don’t sleep on either half of a reviewer’s experiences, either! You have to understand the good and the bad aspects of a product to know what the best fit for your business is. Knowing a product’s cons is important to over 75% of buyers, in part because in can help you forecast what limitations and obstacles may exist once you’ve purchased the software. It’s just like getting a puppy for the house for Christmas—even if you’re all committed, it still helps to know what you’re getting yourself into!

How Do You Not Know…. What You Don’t Know?

For some buyers, one of the biggest challenges can be not knowing what you don’t know! Reviews help solve this problem for at least 44% of buyers we surveyed. From personal experience, reviews can often do a better job than executive summaries or reports on a type of software at clarifying what features matter the most and what the unexpected aspects of users’ experiences actually are. It appears that others also utilize that value!

Insights from reviews can also better arm you for conversations with software vendors. Of buyers who use reviews, 31% ask vendors questions based on information the buyers got from reviews. These questions can be “gotchas” or callouts on weak sales promises, or simply questions that better address the real functions, services, or support that you need a more thorough understand of. Regardless of your attitude towards software sales reps, reviews can provide context and insights to make the conversation more productive.

Every Use Case is Unique

When it comes to your business software, no two experiences are identical. That’s why buyers have to go to extra lengths to find a product that doesn’t just work, but works for you—especially when there’s budget on the line!

Thankfully, reviews can provide insights from users similar to you. Of buyers we surveyed, over half (51%) pointed to the need to ID products that will fit in their specific environment as a top problem reviews solve. While reviews aren’t the singular source of truth, they can complement and contextualize vendor claims. Of course vendors are incentive to say their product will work in your case. Reviews from similar users to you can confirm, or counter, those claims.

This Season, We’re Grateful For Reviews!

In a healthy work environment, you should have plenty of things to be thankful for this season. However, if you buy, use, or benefit from business software, you probably have reviews in part to thank for that value and experience. How will you use reviews in the new year?

About the Author

John Ferguson
John is a Research Associate at TrustRadius, focusing on content development and buyer-guided research. His goal is to support and enable better software buying decisions, with an eye towards helping people from all backgrounds navigate the world of business software. He has a BA in Politics from Centre College.

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