How Software Reviews Boost Credibility Through Economic Shifts

May 20, 2020
Contributor: Mark DiGiammarino

The power of user reviews goes far beyond reputation building. Reviews provide insight into current buyer needs and are critical to reach buyers during down cycles.

Looking for ways to optimize your software product profile and reach more B2B buyers on a strict budget? Focus on recruiting user reviews, which serve not only as a powerful boost to your business’s reputation but also as real-time indicators of shifts in customer sentiment and expectations. Use reviews as a valuable source of information on new buyer needs, and as a means to reach critical B2B buyers in the current business climate.

Build credibility with buyers

Nearly 52% of small to midsize business (SMB) buyers say that websites with user reviews are among the first sources they access to learn more about their options, according to a 2019 Gartner survey on SMB buyer behavior. Reviews validate the features and benefits referenced in your sales and marketing materials and act as important social proof of your product’s value. It shouldn't be surprising that software buyers value customer reviews with 79% of buyers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Capture more buyer attention

To provide concrete value, it’s critical to recruit more than just a few reviews, as today’s buyers look for reviews that vary in length and content. In fact, the average buyer wants to read 10 reviews before purchasing software. The greater the variety of reviews to read, the easier it is to gain buyers’ trust and validate your brand.

A wide breadth of reviews will also benefit your marketing team by providing insight into current customer preferences and challenges. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, buyer needs are quickly shifting to meet their new normal. Resonate with buyers by adapting your targeting strategy and messaging based on learnings from current reviews.

Success Stories from Software and SaaS Providers

Navigate an evolving B2B software landscape with this on-demand webinar.

Stay top of mind through an uncertain time

Establish a constant flow of recent reviews. Buyers know software products evolve rapidly — especially in the rapidly shifting climate — and they want to read reviews that highlight the most current features and user experiences.


Mark DiGiammarino
Mark DiGiammarino is the Director of Vendor Services for Gartner Digital Markets. He helped create, implement and scale Digital Markets’ Reviews as a Service (RaaS) program. When he’s not explaining the value of reviews, you can find him exploring Virginia’s wineries with his wife and their Goldendoodle, Howard. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.


Gartner Small Business Software Buying Trends 2019 Survey

Results presented are based on a Gartner study to understand software buying behaviors of small and midsize business owners in the past 12 months. The primary research was conducted online during September and October 2019 among 488 respondents in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and Spain.

Companies were screened for number of employees and revenue in fiscal year 2018 to arrive at small and midsize businesses. They were also required to have purchased at least one software for USD 5,000 or more, in the immediate past 12 months. Respondents were required to be at least office managers, influencing software purchase decisions in their organizations.

The study was developed collaboratively by Gartner analysts and the primary research team who follow digital markets.

Disclaimer: Results do not represent “global” findings or the market as a whole but reflect sentiment of the respondents and companies surveyed.

Get the Gartner Digital Markets Newsletter

We value your privacy. By submitting this form, you agree we may use your information in accordance with the terms of the Gartner Digital Markets Privacy Policy.