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“Try before you buy” is advice you are probably following for many different types of purchases – and that should also include your digital signage software. Would you purchase a car before seeing it and taking it for a test drive? Better still: if you could try the car you are considering buying for a couple of weeks to get to really know it, you would probably jump on the opportunity. Although this option is not possible for cars, it’s easy for digital signage software, and your provider will almost certainly offer a free trial version, which you should always accept. Other providers give their software free of charge. Which one should you choose? The free digital signage software, or the one you need to pay for?

Seeing the interface of your future content management software

During the purchasing process for a digital signage software, you will hear the following words whenever you will be talking with a provider: “simple and efficient software”, “easy-to-use solution”, “user-friendly interface”, “quick access”, and so on. Unfortunately, these words will mean nothing if they are coming from the person who is selling the solution; you are the only judge of the software interface. In short, seeing the platform will let you make your own opinion and confirm which interface is best suited to you.

Looking is good, but trying is better

A personalized demonstration has many advantages. However, when it is performed by an expert, it is very difficult to experience the usability of the interface and the ease of getting started. These types of presentations can sometimes create a false sense of mastery that could disappear as soon as you are left alone with the solution.

A provider may not offer a free trial version of its software for numerous reasons, for instance, in cases where the platform provides many advanced features that could confuse the user (e. g. if the provider offers solutions for smart cities, public transit organizations, real estate agencies, or factories that wish to provide real-time data). On the other hand, if you are looking for a simpler solution, such as non-automated internal communications or displaying your menu or your promotions, your provider should propose a free trial. If it does not, the platform might be obsolete or hard to use.

Beware of “free” trials

When you are beginning to start a free trial of a display software, you are probably looking to confirm that the proposed tool meets your needs. Here are two cases where a free trial is used as an excuse to hide the real intentions.

Having access to your credit card information

If it’s a free trial, why do you need to enter your credit card number? This practice relies on the possibility that you could forget to unsubscribe and end up paying at the end of the trial period.

Planning a call with a representative

You click on the “Free trial” button, fill out a form, then a pop-up message tells you that a representative will call you to better understand your needs. If you had wanted to talk to someone in the first place, you probably would have called or written directly.

In conclusion, by seeing and trying the interface, the goal is to ensure that you will buy your software with complete peace of mind, without any surprises. The trust providers have in their product when they offer a free trial goes beyond words; it’s a way of agreeing with the optimistic affirmation: “Try this product: we are confident that it will meet your needs”.

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