Should B2B care about Black Friday?Kees de Koning
Trends in B2C often make it into the B2B environment. So far, Black Friday has not really been one of them. But are times changing?
B2B dynamics differ quite a bit from B2C dynamics, but expectations that we have in B2C environments do meander into the B2B world. When offerings, services and deals from B2C have become widely accepted, expected even, we automatically project those expectations onto B2B. It’s not necessarily that those B2C trends are actually useful to B2B. We just want them because it’s the new normal in our day to day lives.
Let’s take a supplier of packaging materials as an example. Clients ask same day delivery of packaging material, not just for a rush order, but also as a normal way of working. You could question if that is necessary, or even efficient. It definitely isn’t for the packaging materials supplier, and most likely not for the buyer either. Do you really want your warehouse staff to receive and process smaller deliveries every day? It takes up more time, not to mention the additional paperwork. And yet, it happens anyway.
Early adopter advantage
The idea of B2B companies embracing Black Friday isn’t such a crazy one, as B2C buyer’s expectations are projected on the B2B world. Giving customers a discount is not a strange thing to do in B2B either, so why not do that during Black Friday and Cyber Monday? It’s at least worth a try. B2B companies who would jump on the trend now, would benefit from being one of the firsts to participate in Black Friday. It’s new and will therefore catch the eye.
3 ways B2B could embrace Black Friday
Black Friday discounts in B2B do not even have to be as high as in B2C. The fact that there is a discount is already enough for buyers who are already ordering through your commerce platform. Depending on the way you organise your marketing efforts, it could also convince first time buyers to place their first order.
Or, a B2B company could offer current and potential clients a value adding service, like a free workshop, a free consultation or a free whitepaper. Black Friday could in this way be a real lead generator. A third option is to embrace Black Friday in the B2B market is to create promotions for sales representatives. The deal could be a good conversation starter and deal closer for them when they are out in the field.
Leverage Black Friday
So yes, B2B should care about Black Friday. Not only because B2B buyers will soon start expecting it because of their personal buying experiences, but also because there’s actual sales and leads to be gained. B2C companies have already done the groundwork, all B2B companies have to do is leverage it.
This article also appeared on Emerce in Dutch.