U.S. Businesses Have a Bad Track Record When Buying Software

Stacked Dollars

Well more than half of U.S. businesses, 58%, regret at least one of the software purchases they made in the last 12 to 18 months. Moreover, said Capterra, nearly a quarter, 23%, regret multiple purchases they made during that same time.   

The primary reasons for their regret included the software being more expensive than expected, challenges onboarding and training new users, and vendor-related issues such as a problematic handoff between sales and implementation teams or poorly managed expectations.

The study also found that these purchases have led to some unwanted repercussions. Fifty-six percent of those with regrets described the financial impact of their decision as “significant” or “monumental.” In addition, 41% said their bad purchase made them less competitive, while 38% said it led to productivity loss.

Smarter Decisions

To avoid buyer’s remorse, Capterra recommends:

  • Shorter Decision Timelines: Companies take five months on average to evaluate software options and make a purchase decision. They can minimize regret if they do it in three months or less.
  • Social Proof: Businesses that gather information from vendor social media posts (77%) or Google Search (67%) are most likely to regret their purchase decisions. Information sourced from consultants or product comparison websites (such as Capterra, of course) are the least likely to have second thoughts.
  • Better Understanding of Total Cost of Ownership: The top driver of regret is price, specifically when the software turns out to be more expensive than expected. Beyond licensing costs, buyers should keep in consider add-on fees such as setup, data migration, user training and customer support.
  • Clearly Defined Goals: The top changes these companies would make on future purchases are ensuring alignment among the stakeholder group about evaluation/selection criteria (38%) and clarifying desired goals and outcomes (37%).
  • Mix of IT and Non-IT Decision-Dakers: Compared to businesses that have only non-IT staff (67%) or only IT staff (61%) on their purchasing team, those that have a mix of IT and non-IT staff (54%) are less likely to regret their purchases.

“The fact that most U.S. businesses are making regretful purchases points to flaws in how they find and evaluate software,” said Capterra Principal Analyst Brian Westfall. “Software investment is going up in most cases in 2024, and this creates an opportunity to right past wrongs.”

Image: iStock

Previous articlePodcast: Hackajob’s Mark Chaffey on AI and What Users Want
Next articleDegreed Upgrades Focus on ‘Seamless’ Skill-Building