Pros and Cons of Using Software Reviews for ERP Selection

April 15, 2024

Choosing the right ERP solution is critical for any business.

When it comes to an ERP, no company can afford to waste money on a system that doesn’t meet its needs, and implementing or replacing an ERP can negatively impact business operations, productivity, or profitability. 

Since choosing the wrong ERP system can be costly and disruptive, we estimate that ERP buyers will increasingly use software reviews to ensure the success of their selection initiative.

To do that effectively, buyers should be aware of the pros and cons of using reviews to select software.

Pros and cons of reviews when buying an ERP solution

Software reviews make a big difference in software selection. 

According to the 2023 G2 Software Buyer Behavior Report, slightly more than 50% of respondents feel that using software reviews makes them feel better educated and more confident about their software buying decisions and the selected product. 

Other significant benefits were related to reducing the selection time, having more relevant information, and increasing awareness of the potential challenges of various software solutions.

Unlike other sources of information, software reviews provide clear benefits (and a few challenges) when considering options for ERP solutions.

Benefits of using software reviews for ERP selection

Buyers like reviews for the following reasons:

  • The objectivity of the feedback reviewers provide is critical for ERP software selection. Unfortunately, most other types of content (such as case studies or testimonials) aren’t 100% objective.
  • The high number of respondents means the user feedback is more relevant from a statistical perspective. A large sample of reviewers who used software indicates that the results are representative of the target population (in this case, software users).
  • Good review portals provide analytics and reports that can give a business an overview of user feedback per product or software category.
  • All vendors have equal chances to be represented and rated based on feedback from real users, not subjective evaluation. It's also good for buyers, who won't be influenced by sponsored content or promotional campaigns.
  • Buyers can discover and compare many products and are not limited to the ones included in reports or all kinds of rankings. Hundreds of ERP products are on the market, and I don’t think I have ever found a report covering them all.

However, reviews also bring a number of challenges that ERP buyers cannot ignore.

Challenges buyers may face when using reviews for ERP selection

The challenges can be very intimidating for ERP buyers, but there are solutions for each of the challenges described below:

  • The number of reviews is both a benefit and a problem because it makes the data difficult to analyze. To complicate matters further, most of the data is in text format and, therefore, unstructured. Review platforms must provide analytics, graphs, and options to filter reviews. This allows users to analyze hundreds or thousands of reviews without reading them all.
  • Taxonomy and categorization can be confusing when not managed properly. Most review sites list thousands (and tens of thousands) of products, which are grouped (more or less) loosely based on not-so-obvious criteria.
    One issue that I’ve seen quite a lot on many review platforms is that ERP can get mixed with manufacturing execution systems or quality management software. While these types of products have common features, they serve different purposes, so listing them together can be confusing for ERP buyers.
  • There may be limited options to evaluate products in detail, unlike a typical request for information process that uses hundreds, if not thousands, of custom criteria. Most review platforms provide a variety of filters for company size, region, etc., but not very detailed features that reviewers can rate and buyers can compare.

These limitations can vary significantly by review platform, type of software (or categories), and each stage of the evaluation process. 

For instance, G2 has separate categories for each significant type of manufacturing software (Process, Discrete, Engineering to Order, and Mixed Mode) and a more generic category for ERP systems. Moreover, it features categories in the vertical space, such as education ERP and construction ERP.

How to get started with ERP selection using reviews

My next blog will describe in detail how reviews can help buyers at every stage of the purchasing process: research, comparison, demos, and the final decision.

In the meantime, I recommend that anyone interested explore the ERP categories on our site and take a look at the recently published Spring 2024 Reports.

Learn about overcoming software selection bias using behavioral economics.

Edited by Jigmee Bhutia

ERP Systems
Improve the transparency of business processes

Support process automation, control input data, and optimize business operations to save resources with ERP systems.

Pros and Cons of Using Software Reviews for ERP Selection Using software reviews for ERP selection has its pros and cons, which buyers must consider at all stages of the process.
Gabriel Gheorghiu Gabriel’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of business software selection and implementation. His research work has involved detailed functional analyses of software vendors from various areas such as ERP, CRM, and HCM. Gheorghiu holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest (Romania), and a master's degree in territorial project management from Université Paris XII Val de Marne (France).