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August 13, 2015

Shopping without worries

When the internet bubble burst at the end of 2000, there was a significant decline in optimism in the internet sector. But now, fifteen years later, it has become clear that our business models and day-to-day lives have undergone a seismic shift thanks to the internet.

How to guide - How to make software demos work

Demos are part of any software purchase decision. This guide gives 5 tips for getting the most from demos for Integrated Workplace Management Software.

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Internet shopping, for example, continues to grow in popularity. Over the past decade e-commerce has totally changed the way we shop. Where a few years ago we had to check out a number of shops to find a suitable birthday present for that nephew, now you simply search the internet. 

And what could be easier than treating yourself to the latest tablet, or insuring your car, all from your couch? Often you are just one click away from the best offer. And if you’re not sure about your choice? Then you can check out the reviews to determine the best price-quality ratio, conveniently and transparently. You know exactly what you’re buying, and what other buyers have felt so far. This reduces the chance of making a bad buy.

At least, that’s what you might think... but the number of web purchases returned is almost 50%. If you don’t like a product or you regret your purchase, then you just return it thanks to “Try now! Not satisfied, money back” and “Free shipping on purchases of $25 or more, free returns and 30 days to change your mind.” So you are protected against your own misjudgment when buying.

Some of these concepts even apply to larger purchases. You still want to test drive a new car, but you might start your search online. Case studies replace reviews for large business purchases, however it is impsossible to “return” an IWMS in the same way that Zappos lets you return a pair of shoes.

With the wrong choice, you face a disinvestment in money terms, but also in the time you have invested in the selection process. That’s why you want to make the right choice for both the short and the long term, and that stands or falls with a properly thought-out purchasing process. Buying business software involves much more than just functionality and price. By definition, choosing specific business software has an impact on your operational processes and the success of the business. So the purchasing process should not be aimed solely at acquiring the right products and services at the right price. In my view, in this phase you should also consider carefully a strategic partnership which will be created between the two organisations involved, for the years ahead.

This begins with setting out your wishes and requirements, writing a business case and allocating budget and resources. But also with creating a clear project plan, including the selection procedure to choose a company. In my view, this last point bears a great deal of weight. Does the company with which you are getting involved have the profile of a strategic partner or a supplier? This may make the selection trajectory take a little longer, but the quality of a decision is far more reliable.

Only then does this become shopping without worries.

P.S. Are you looking for tips on how you can deploy a software demo successfully? Then download a free copy of the how-to guide, “How to make software demos work” for five tips which will simplify comparing software. 

Marcel Groenenboom
General Manager Planon BeNeLux & UK