4 Ways B2B Sellers Can Prepare for Black Friday
There are few surprises in the annual e-commerce calendar. There’s the bonanza of Christmas, a common lull over the summer months, a back-to-school surge, plus whatever peaks and troughs are particular to your sector.
Then there’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a relatively young holiday but one that has matured quickly to become one of the most pivotal retail moments of the year, and one that can make or break annual revenue targets.
And as with anything important, the sooner you begin planning, the more likely it is you’ll see success. Here are four ways you can navigate the busy shopping season with ease.
1. Research and anticipate sales trends
While most think about this as a spike for B2C sales, it’s often forgotten that those who manage B2B purchases are consumers too. They’ll no doubt be caught up in the craze and be keeping an eye out for cost savings for their company, as well as items for themselves.
Trying to second-guess what your customers are going to be interested in is both a science and a lottery. All the research in the world won’t give a guarantee of what’s going to happen as soon as your promotion goes live as there are so many mitigating factors.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to predict behavior. As well as your own sales data and anything you can glean from your competitors, use tools such as Google Trends to give an indicative clue as to what kind of increased demand you can expect, both on specific items and product categories.
Correlate that info with price tracking tools such as camelcamelcamel.com and you’ll have a pretty solid insight into how merchants react to customer demand and adapt pricing models throughout the year, and during traditional sales periods.
2. Plan your B2B holiday email marketing
Everyone’s inbox will get full at this time of year, but there’s a higher likelihood of opening an email from a brand you recognize and have dealt with before.
Past purchasers and repeat customers are your bread and butter, and your best chance of a successful sales conversion. Capture their attention with a personalized bargain based on their past-buying behavior. This will not only trigger their attention, but also demonstrate that you see them as a valued customer.
The timing of this is crucial, as getting mixed up in the rat race of Thanksgiving weekend emails is something you may want to avoid. A pre-sales alert can be far more effective, possibly as much as 10 days before so any large purchases can be discussed and agreed by your buyers before they head off for the holidays.
Then when your sales kick off, they’ll already be anticipating and be ready with their payment details wherever they may be enjoying the holidays.
3. Don’t forget to discount supplementary products
While the big-ticket items may capture the headlines, the real trick to maximizing revenue is to increase the size of each basket that goes through the checkout.
If you sell to the hospitality industry and have major discounts on a line of crockery, make sure the matching cutlery also has an attractive price point. If you’re in the business of selling wholesale furniture, present discounted footstools to go along with the cut-price sofas. If you’re offering photography hardware to the medical sector at a lower-than-usual price, as users checkout list replacement lenses and compatible stands with appealing reductions.
The more someone spends, the bigger the savings they will see. Most savvy customers will see through this pseudo-psychology, but that won’t stop them seeking out ways to increase the ‘you have saved’ percentage.
4. Prepare to capture user data
B2B buying habits are naturally less impulsive than B2C ones. There may be multiple layers of sign-off to go through and it may just not be the right time in the budget cycle for someone to afford what you’re offering, regardless of the hefty discount.
Increasing their purchasing power with extended payment terms via Behalf is one way of initiating a quick sale. But if that doesn’t tip the balance, there are still ways to make the most of any attention you get at this time of year.
In advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, make sure your site is set up to track visits via pixels; small snippets of code which log visits to your site and what users look at while they’re there. Marketing channels like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn all have their own specific configurations and the earlier you deploy them, the more refined the data can be.
Anyone who looked at a particular product or abandoned their basket at the last minute can be retargeted with specific ads in the weeks following Cyber Monday. This extends the sales window well beyond the Thanksgiving holiday.
And for anyone who did make a purchase, don’t forget to add their email to your CRM database for future sales promotions. This info is going to be invaluable the next time Black Friday rolls around.