With thousands of web pages added to the Net every day, it's getting more and more frustrating both to submit the information to the attention of those, who are interested in it and to find the information one needs.
The problem is even aggravated with the fact that customers become more exigent to the products they are offered. When it comes to the issue of software development and B2B solutions, they can't be considered ignorant any more. Customers are backed up by the basic knowledge of programming tools and their “should-have" functionality.
The recent online surveys show that customers are not attracted by price or discounts. Below you can see the enumeration of the factors influencing customers’ decision on web application purchasing by their measure of significance:
- Technical performance
- Reliable customer support
Let's go deeper into the nature of every factor.
Technical performance factor. Today it is not enough to say, that your PHP+MySQL solution has “a complete list of features" or “can be integrated into any web site". People, who are interested in the given products, are aware of the fact that the difficulty of implementing the principles of data integrity in MySQL and PHP depends in large degree on how many tables and relationships the database has. Most of scripts offered on the Web for online dealership constructing do have the problem of server slowing down by traffic or large database of listings or users:
"I came to Esvon with a sluggish, text based dating site that was slowly running into the ground. Esvon has taken my site and has developed a fast, robust, and exciting medium for my customers. From the lightning speed of front end programming in PHP to the powerful backend database in MySQL, the site is now one of the most advanced dating sites available. "
Brand factor. As practically everything in software development science, there are a small number of ways to develop it right, and almost an infinite number of ways to develop it wrong. Still, Esvon guys have come to the profession of software development deliberately: they like to create things from pure thought, things that give life to machines and that matter to many businesses. Those, who are guided by brand images, sometimes risk being trapped: since brand awareness very often compensates the poor functionality of the software. And vice versa: the brand, which is not well known yet, generates the solutions, which well worth paying money for:
"Esvon Classifieds is built with performance in mind: I should stress its highly optimized database and PHP code, as little SQL queries as possible, ability to generate static HTML content to allow large databases and high visitors traffic handling, search engine friendliness, adaptability of the system and other beneficial features. I would underline its scalability, real-time configured custom database fields (text boxes, menus, checkboxes, unlimited images, files to upload, etc. ), ability to generate HTML pages from databases, user authentication and paid membership support. It does distinguish from other existing solutions. "
Reliable customer support factor. Software can be simple, it can be complicated, it might be easy-to-install, it might be user-friendly, it might require no programming skills, etc. But it is nothing without timely and helpful support. Customers do pay attention to this aspect: they study the Support Policy, require toll-free numbers, ask dozens of questions to be sure they can rely on the proper support after the product installation. But, unfortunately, customers often bump into the problems, when they do need manufacturer's help and don't receive it. I won't go deep into the reasons of it. But those manufacturers, who are not interested in short-term financial success, but strive for long-term cooperation, can't afford such approach:
"I wanted to migrate from my existing script to Esvon Classifieds. I wanted Esvon to handle data conversion from my database to the needed format. Why? Coz I was tired of constant complaints from my customers, as for slow loading pages, constant database errors, etc. I should say, Esvon was very responsive in work, patient in support, and reasonable in price, and I would definitely recommend Esvon's products to everyone who has the desire to have a successful website. "
Price factor. If you are not guided by price factor while choosing the software, you are doing well. Our customers claim that they do not want to buy a pig in a poke, even if it is twice cheaper than other similar “pokes". There is no universal formula of defining good classified ads software at first sight. One should dig into the description of the program, view the demo version and screenshots, and discuss it with the manufacturer. But, unfortunately, it is sometimes insufficient as well.
To make the conclusion, I want to underline, that price, as many people think, is not a No. 1 driving force in a customer’ decision-making engine. The best guidelines for selecting good classified ads software are its highly optimized database and PHP code, ability to generate static HTML content and adaptability of the system.
I hope the foregoing information will contribute to your successful choice. Be reasonable and you will be all set!
About The Author
Daria Winkler is Co-founder and Principal of Esvon LLC (http://www.esvon.com/ ), information technology company, providing cost effective software development and outsourcing services to our clients and professional classified ads software for website owners.