Digital.com helps small businesses succeed. We help them succeed by providing the information they need to make better IT decisions. Our strategy is based on two core beliefs:
- Choosing the wrong software is one of the costliest mistakes a business can make.
- Choosing the right software is one of the best advantages a business can gain.
While these sound simple enough, there’s nothing simple about the world of business software.
Industry sales have grown from $6 billion to $157 billion over the last 14 years. Today’s small businesses face a dizzying assortment of IT decisions and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Selection Methodology for Top Picks
Each of our Top Picks lists is carefully curated. Our goal with each is to ensure that a majority of the products listed can and will meet the needs of a majority of small businesses. Our industry experts evaluate and compare each product based on the following factors:
Usability: If a solution is difficult to use, employees won’t use it effectively. We prioritize ease of use and highlight products that help streamline workflows, supporting employees instead of getting in their way.
Features: Too many features can be as bad as too few. We select only products that have the right balance of features. We prioritize products that design and integrate their feature sets to overcome the common painpoints that most small businesses face.
Cost and Value: While it’s true— even in the world of business software— that you get what you pay for, it’s also true that no small business can afford to overpay. We compare costs and feature sets of competing products, and include only those that provide the best value.
Sales Model: Software companies have created a variety of sales and pricing models. Many offer free trials; others offer “freemium” versions with limited features; others bundle features like cable TV packages, making you buy 3 things you don’t need to get the one thing you do. We only list products with transparent, competitive pricing models in line with industry standards.
Service: When a business implements new software, they’re making a commitment. When software doesn’t work as expected, it’s important that the provider remain equally committed. We prioritize products with above-average customer service, and prefer those with multiple channels, like: phone, live chat, email and online FAQs, knowledgebases and tutorials.
Target Audience: We verify that all the products and services we list have small businesses as their primary target audience. We avoid products that were designed for enterprises. We always let readers know if products have any niche specializations, use cases or requirements.
Time on Market: The business software industry evolves quickly. New products enter the market daily, and there’s no shortage of software company mergers and acquisitions. It’s important that the vendor who provides your software today is still around tomorrow, and that’s why we prioritize products with longer track records.
Public Discussion: We use a sentiment analysis tool to analyze what software users are saying on Twitter. The tool helps us weigh thousands of comments, compare the positive with the negative, and gives us benchmarks with which to compare competing solutions and suggestions about which to investigate further.
User Ratings and Reviews: When selecting software, it’s unwise to rely too heavily on user reviews and star ratings, as both can be manipulated, out-dated or otherwise inaccurate. We look at star ratings and user reviews on third-party websites only to determine which products, and which aspects of them, may or may not deserve a closer look.
Direct Feedback: We encourage readers to share their experiences with us. If you love or hate a product we recommend, we want to hear about it. If we’ve overlooked something, we want to hear about that, too! Feedback is always confidential. We read all of it carefully and consider it when determining which products we feature and recommend. Feedback for any product or service mentioned on Digital.com can be left here.