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75% of U.S. Small and Midsize Businesses to Spend More on Software in 2023

Capterra’s 2023 SMB Software Buying Trends Survey reveals growing security concerns, implementation barriers, siloed evaluation processes, and customer reviews as key buying behaviors.

Despite fears of a looming recession, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. are spending more on software in 2023, according to Capterra’s 2023 SMB Software Buying Trends Survey. Three-fourths of U.S. SMBs (75%) estimate they’ll spend more on software in 2023 compared to 2022.

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Alongside increased software budgets, Capterra’s survey of over 500 SMBs reveals four other major trends in software buying behaviors and challenges that will impact businesses in 2023:

1. Fearful of cyberattacks, U.S. businesses rate security as a top motivator and most important factor for software purchases
Not only did 55% of surveyed SMBs purchase IT architecture and security software in the past 12 months (the most of any software category), they also rate security as the top priority when purchasing other types of software. In fact, security (42%) beat out features (39%) and integration capabilities (38%) as the most important factor when looking for new software.

2. Implementation concerns are SMBs’ biggest purchase barrier
The top reason SMBs don’t invest in software is concern about downtime or a steep learning curve during implementation (45%), followed by ROI concerns (41%) and internal project team disagreements (36%). While some SMBs are taking a more cautious approach to software purchases, they may miss out on major long-term gains by avoiding short-term disruption.

3. Most SMB software purchases are solely handled by IT, disregarding other important stakeholders
Less than one in four (22%) of purchasers involve people from departments outside IT in the software evaluation process. While IT teams should be involved in every software purchase to ensure compatibility with existing tech infrastructures, too many SMBs exclude other important stakeholders who can provide more insight into how the software will be used day to day.

4. Customer reviews sway purchase decisions, and verified reviews are critical
SMBs seek out customer reviews and ratings (45%) more than any type of content to help make a purchase decision. However, not all reviews are created equal: 89% of SMBs say verified reviews are important or very important when comparing software systems.

Despite the expected increase in software investments, many U.S. SMBs regret their technology purchases. A majority (61%) of U.S. SMBs in Capterra’s 2023 SMB Tech Trends Survey say they have buyer’s remorse over a technology purchase in the past 12-18 months. Inadequate support services (39%) and higher-than-anticipated costs (34%) are the top reasons behind such regrets.

View Capterra’s 2023 SMB Software Buying Trends Survey and 2023 SMB Tech Trends Survey to gather more insights on what SMBs need to know before their next software purchase and how to avoid buyer’s remorse.

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