Thanksgiving online shopping in the US does not end on a Thursday, nor does it end on a Friday. Cyber Monday has always been a logical continuation of the holiday promotions that even surpasses Black Friday in terms of digital sales.
In 2020, online sales over Cyber Monday reached $10.8 billion, making it the busiest day for eCommerce of all time.
Any guess what proportion of these sales came from B2B eCommerce? I couldn’t find any numbers, and this very fact brings me to the conclusion that B2B companies are mistakenly perceived as a bad fit for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still in their infancy in B2B, we aren’t surprised at all to see more and more B2B brands and wholesalers in the FMCG space experimenting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday promotions.
The lines between B2B and B2C buying experiences continue to blur and many brands risk being left behind by not taking advantage of differentiating themselves during the holiday season.
To draw an analogy with B2C, Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales heavily rely on impulse purchases as people often check what deals online shops have rather than looking for a specific product.
Black Friday has always created the fear of ‘missed opportunity’ and consumers understand that they have a limited time before the price increases. B2B buyers are far less likely to succumb to impulse purchasing. However, our internal analysis has shown that limited trade promotions on consumer goods that cost less than $500 can encourage even the most process-driven B2B customers to increase orders BIG TIME!
Let’s assume I convinced you to experiment with more B2B Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts and promotions by taking a more trial-and-error approach. Would it be enough? Likely not, as it very much depends on what stage your company is in this process.
Are you already selling online to your B2B customers? Do you run promotions? Do you have the relevant tools to configure and manage aggressive promotions? Are your product catalogs accessible to unregistered users?
Black Friday is not only about huge discounts, but also about making your products visible to ALL potential customers, and without requiring them to create an account on your website. Making your products searchable on the web will boost your chances to enlarge your audience and increase sales.
B2B companies that have embraced ‘open catalogs' as a standard B2C eCommerce feature are much better positioned to benefit from customers looking to purchase Black Friday deals they can then sell.
Check out my blog post, Strategies & Sales Tips for CPG Brands & Wholesalers about an open catalog and how it increases sales.
Configuring B2B “Black Friday-worthy” promotions across different sales channels has pushed many B2B companies away from entering the holidays sales space. Complex, time-consuming, and error-prone processes that require extensive technical skills usually lead to poor company results and create a negative customer experience. Handling hundreds or thousands of promotions during Black Friday simultaneously requires investing in a robust trade promotions solution that enables sales and marketing managers to easily set up a wide variety of promotions (see a partial list below) using drag and drop and then push them out to the different sales channels.
Types of Promotions:
Buy item X, get item Y free
Buy X get $Y off from item X
Buy X get Y% off from item X
End of Order Promotions
Spend over $Z and get item Y free
Spend over $Z and get $Y off
Spend over $Z and get Y% off
Category Discount – a max discount provided for a
category of products
Category Threshold Discount – buy more than $X
amount from a category or a list, and receive a
discount on the order level
Mix and Match Promotions
Buy multiple SKUs mix and match get item Y free
Buy multiple SKUs mix and match get $Y off
Buy multiple SKUs mix and match get Y% off
Buy multiple SKUs mix and match with the minimum of item X, get item Y free
New Customer Promotions
If new customer, get item Y free
If new customer, get $Y off
If new customer, get Y% off
If new customer, buy minimum of X, get item Y free
If new customer, buy minimum of X, get $Y off
If new customer, buy minimum of X, get Y% off
FMCG brands and wholesalers selling B2B may never achieve the same level of record-breaking success as B2C companies on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but this doesn't rule out the possibility they shouldn’t experiment.
Even if you have no immediate intentions to expand in this direction, we recommend keeping an eye on some common requirements to roll out holiday promotions and make your offering worthwhile.