My inbox is full of Black Friday promotion emails, with over 100 emails enticing me to make purchases online and in store during the sales period which covers the whole Black Friday weekend, till Sunday midnight.
No, I don’t live in the US, the motherland of the Black Friday anymore. More than a decade ago, the shopping frenzy on the next after Thanksgiving used to drag people out of bed at 4am and wait in the queue for hours to buy electronics in front of Walmart. Now there is online shopping which makes life so much more convenient!
I live, more than 15,000 km away from the US, in Singapore, where people are firm believers of shopping therapy. Although Black Friday is a recent phenomenon in the retail business, Singapore is a natural in adopting shopping traditions such as China’s Single Day (11 November), and making it vividly celebrated with spending records.
So far, I’m solely referring to B2C. What about B2B? Couldn’t businesses take this opportunity to sell to their business customers?
I check my inbox once more, not even one email trying to sell me a business product. Which got me curious. Why don’t B2B companies create campaigns and give special discounts or promotions on Black Friday?
I understand Black Friday is a retail focused event. Retail companies make us believe that we get a good discount on the products we’d like to buy.
“Best deals of the year. Limited to 3-days. Do not miss it!” are the messages that retailers keep repeating one way or another. So as consumers, we all are in a shopping mood. This creates an opportune time for any sellers. Plus B2B customers have a different set of needs from individual customers.
- Focus on your B2B customers needs
What kind of service/product do you provide to your customers? Can you sell it more frequently to your existing customers? What about the new customers you’d like to reach? Can you start a campaign with a special price for the trial period? How can you position this campaign without hurting your current customers?
- End-of-the-year budget advantage
No department has rolling budgets to the next financial year. So all executives need to find a way to spend their budget wisely by the end of the year. End-November is a great time to spend it on value products.
- Products/services that would bring more business and revenue
Spending the budget does not mean purchasing for the sake of purchasing. Most departments need to justify why they’re buying products and services. B2B sellers need to focus on the value they’re adding to their clients’ business. Will this purchase increase revenues? Will it improve efficiency? Will it give an edge to the employees in terms of knowledge and expertise?
Some B2B marketers are against promoting their products and services during Black Friday. They believe all the sales efforts need to be amplified in order to be heard in the very loud crowd of the retailers. If your B2B customers are mainly retailers, it becomes even more complicated. Retailers being extremely busy with sales will not have time for purchasing decisions which are most critical to the way they operate, makes sales, improve efficiency and ROI. It might not be the ideal time to make a sales pitch!
Is Black Friday an opportunity for B2B sales? It depends on the kind of business you’re in, the type of customers and your sales campaigns. Take all factors into consideration before committing or disregarding Black Friday as a B2B sales opportunity.
Ela EROZAN GURSEL