No More Bah 2 Bah Humbug During the Most Wonderful Time of Year
Five Strategies to Help Drive B2B Commerce Business in Late 4<sup>th</sup> Quarter
A week has passed since Thanksgiving with our focus turning towards shopping for the holidays. In the Digital Marketing and Commerce space, we are once again experiencing a holiday season with record sales for B2C businesses. Traditionally during this time though, B2B companies have not been enthusiastic around sales for the holiday season. For many reasons, December has been viewed as a bad time for sales for B2B firms. In addition, as retailers are gearing up to prepare for the holiday shopping turmoil, B2B sales had been most intense leading up to the holiday season not during it. But over the past couple years this trend is turning and many wholesalers, distributors, and other B2B sellers are finding ways to become “digital disruptors” and giving themselves a very merry 4<sup>th</sup> Quarter.
B2B business are filling in the days around Black Friday and Cyber Monday with Business Saturday, created for small businesses, with some businesses additionally creating their own holidays. A couple years ago, Digital Commerce 360 highlighted SupplyHouse.com held their annual Trade Tuesday, “a 24-hour sale offered a 5% discount to all shoppers on the plumbing, heating and HVAC supply distributor’s website and 10% off to members of its TradeMaster loyalty program. Trade Tuesday is the company’s biggest sales day of the year by all measures including sales, traffic, conversion rate and average ticket site traffic was 6% higher than its next busiest day so far that year.” Fast forward to this year, the same publication highlighted that many B2B sellers spent the first online holiday consumer buying cycle, that begins on Thanksgiving and extends through Cyber Monday, targeting specific groups of buyers or getting ready for this week, one of the busiest of the year. So much for the old Bah Humbug B2B tradition.
How are they doing this though? Here are a handful of Commerce and Marketing practices that these B2B innovators are leveraging to close the year with increased sales at higher profit margins.
Make a Plan (and Check It Twice!)
Create campaign strategies for each of these commerce holidays whether Black Friday, Business Saturday, Cyber Monday (or Trade Tuesday if you are SupplyHouse.com) – or create your own. Plan a campaign and objectives that address your targets for each, consider what your objectives are for the holiday season and plan your promotions accordingly. Great deals will motivate more holiday buying.
Create Digital Campaigns and Sales Campaigns
Related to the prior, created holiday campaigns and promotions based on seasonal bestsellers and optimize your Digital Commerce presence (or “presents”) for the holidays; create personalized experiences to drive your B2B buyers to the seasonal products they’re looking for. This will help them evaluate the products they want in their stock for the upcoming year, while encouraging them to place orders easily.
Leverage End of Year Budgets
A lot of companies have budgets that they have to be spent by the year’s end. Toward the end of year, be aggressive. It’s crucial to find out whether leads need to purchase by year’s end. Buyers that are under the gun to allocate their budget should be prioritized and closed ASAP. Chances are, if you don’t take this tactic your competitor will.
Catch Buyers as They Plan for Next Year
Think ahead. Your B2B customers are spending time right now rationalizing their budgets and priorities for next year so catch them when this is top of mind. If they feel your product or service offering is of high value, they will be more interested in hearing it now, versus any other time of year.
Take Advantage of the Holiday Break
You may be thinking that your targets are going to be harder to reach this month because everyone is off. While your competition is taking the family to Grandma’s house, chase as many leads as possible. One of the best things you can do is talk to a lead before they’ve spoken to your rivals. Whether your customers are trying to spend this year’s budget or planning next year’s, reaching leads before they do, makes it a lot easier to close deals. And the shortage of competition this time of year can enable you to generate more of those highly valuable non-competitive opportunities.
Leveraging these marketing and commerce tactics will make your season bright. The holiday season really is a great time to capitalize on the unique sales opportunity it brings.