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These Three Factors Will Influence Consumers’ Software Purchasing Decisions in 2024

Businesses are investing more in software updates this year compared to last, indicating a shift towards increased spending.
Cover Image Source: Buyer trends in 2024 (representative image) | Photo by Liza Summer |
Cover Image Source: Buyer trends in 2024 (representative image) | Photo by Liza Summer | Pexels

Over half of businesses intend to update, modify, or alter their software more frequently this year than last year. This implies that individuals may be more inclined to spend after a year of frugal spending. However, why are these businesses increasing their software investments? Gartner Digital Markets surveyed roughly 2,500 decision-makers from businesses across several nations and industries to find out the state of software purchases. The survey asked them about the issues they confront, the state of the economy, and the motivations behind their software purchases. 

Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels
Three key factors will determine software purchasing decisions this year (representative image) | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

The survey's findings point to three key factors that consumers value most and which are probably going to have an impact on their software purchases this year: controlling expenses, utilizing cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to work more efficiently, and making sure their software is secure from cyber threats. Let's see how companies that provide software as a service (SaaS) can use this information to turn these priorities into opportunities for growth, per Built In.

As many organizations are operating on smaller budgets, software costs are crucial. Gartner Digital Markets' poll indicates that the program's cost is the most crucial consideration for consumers—even more significant than security. Cost is a major issue, which is understandable, especially in these uncertain economic times. According to our poll, about one-third of purchasers intend to change software due to its high cost. Furthermore, the fact that the software price fell short of their expectations caused over half of purchasers to choose not to consider a provider. 

Software salespeople have to understand the role that the finance team plays in the software purchasing process. 81 percent of firms involve finance teams in software purchasing decisions, which is a significant shift from 2023. This demonstrates how crucial pricing has become in these conversations.

Software companies must demonstrate the software's worth in terms of efficiency and revenue growth to win over decision-makers in financial positions. Establishing trust with prospective customers can also be facilitated by being open and honest about all costs, including implementation, training, and recurring expenditures.

Image Source: Photo by Lukas | Pexels
Potential customers will judge a software's worth in terms of efficiency and revenue growth (representative image) | Photo by Lukas | Pexels

The seller's work does not end with the purchase of a product. Although maintaining a satisfied customer base has always been crucial for consistent growth, the means of doing so have evolved. Consumers are always looking for positive experiences and ways to get the most out of the goods they have previously bought. To obtain additional capabilities in 2024, the majority of software purchasers intend to upgrade the program they currently own.

The desire among consumers to leverage these improvements to succeed is new, particularly in light of developments in artificial intelligence (AI). This year, this is the main outside force influencing company objectives. Nearly every company that participated in the survey (92 percent) is thinking about investing in AI technology in 2024 to make their work more efficient and productive. This is good news for SaaS providers who offer features and capabilities powered by AI. B2B software providers should highlight how their product and its features use AI to help buyers automate tasks and increase productivity, giving them an edge over competitors.

Image Source: Photo by Christina Morillo | Pexels
Adopting AI can increase productivity (representative image) | Photo by Christina Morillo | Pexels

The desire to increase productivity was the primary motivator for people to invest in software over the previous year, followed closely by security concerns in second place. Concerns about cyberattacks and data security were prevalent, especially among major firms. Businesses want tools to maintain the security of their IT systems as technology becomes more complex. This is essential to avoid monetary loss, legal problems, and reputational harm. It is therefore not unexpected that among the respondents, IT security software was the most often purchased software in the past several months.

However, security is crucial for more than simply IT security software. When purchasing any form of software, consumers want to be sure that it is safe. Numerous respondents stated that they made product choices based on factors like security certifications, the company's reputation, or how they handle data privacy.

SaaS providers must start focusing more on their security features in their marketing. This means talking about things like encryption and stronger ways to verify users' identities. It also means showing off any security certifications the product has on the website and in emails.