Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the extended holiday season continue to grow in significance for both buyers and sellers in B2B. This evolution is the latest milestone in an ongoing transformation toward B2C-style buyer behavior within the B2B sector.
For instance, Gartner reports that 83% of B2B buyers now prefer "rep-free" purchasing.
This shift is more than a preferential change. During this time of year, it presents an opportunity for B2B businesses to harness globally recognized shopping events to accelerate subscription revenue growth.
This article explores how holidays can benefit SaaS and subscription businesses, offering strategies for B2B SaaS companies to convert these seasonal opportunities into significant revenue-generating events.
Why B2B Businesses Should Care About Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM)
Calendar-Driven Revenue Generation Opportunity
Black Friday and the extended peak season represent an annual opportunity to generate new subscription revenue. With the predictability of these major shopping events, B2B businesses can plan and tailor strategies to tap into the increased willingness to spend during the holidays.
The recurring nature of these holidays enables businesses to assess and improve past campaigns, and due to their longstanding tradition, there's a wealth of resources and blueprints for B2B SaaS companies to leverage when planning or expanding their investment in this area.
Opportunity to Grow Customer Lifetime Value
Black Friday and holiday season deals are not just about attracting new clients — they provide a golden opportunity to deepen relationships with existing customers. By offering exclusive offers, enhanced service packages, or product upgrades, businesses can capitalize on the increased buying propensity to upsell and cross-sell.
This not only boosts immediate revenue but serves to lock in customers for extended periods, fostering loyalty and growing long-term customer lifetime value.
Quicker Time to Revenue
Substantial purchases in B2B often require several layers of approval, resulting in a longer sales cycle. However, the special offers and discounts available during the peak season can incentivize swift decision-making and reduce the necessity for extended approval processes.
For B2B buyers, this means they can quickly secure much-needed solutions at a discounted rate, effectively bypassing the usual red tape. For sellers, this accelerated decision-making translates to a quicker time to revenue, an aspect crucial for hitting those end-of-year targets.
Drive New Growth While Expanding Your Customer Base
It's important to recognize that B2B purchasing decisions aren't solely influenced by cost savings but also by strategic timing and alignment with business goals. B2B peak season promotional offers and marketing strategies should reflect this.
During the holiday season, B2B clients may be inclined to make new purchases they've contemplated throughout the year. The sense of urgency and the prospect of budgets going to waste — or lower budgets for the following year — provide a compelling backdrop for decision-makers to finally commit to those essential investments.
The holiday season can be a prime moment for subscription renewals for subscription-based products or services. Decision-makers often review their budgets towards the end of the year and assess whether they're getting value out of each investment their investment.
By providing incentives, offering add-on features, or highlighting value and renewal benefits during this season, B2B providers can increase subscription retention rates, secure early renewals, and establish long-term partnerships.
Upselling & Cross-Selling
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the extended peak season offer a ripe environment for upselling and cross-selling. Businesses can strategically present add-on products, features, or services to capitalize on an increased willingness to purchase around the holidays. Personalized and well-timed, these expansion opportunities can effectively increase average order values and elevate client satisfaction.
By using your tools and data, you can see what customers are browsing or test different promotional strategies to maximize your chances of conversion.
Preparing for the Peak Season — Your Ultimate Checklist
Ensuring a successful holiday season starts with meticulous planning well ahead of time. Below is a detailed checklist to effectively guide businesses through this peak period.
Strategic Early Preparation
Early planning is pivotal. Each decision and strategy should be precisely crafted to ensure maximized results.
- Approve Promotions: Ensure promotions align with organizational and market demands. Evaluate the balance between profitability and customer appeal.
- Select Marketing Channels: Develop specific marketing and sales plans for platforms where your target audience is most engaged. While trends and buying behaviors may be merging, B2B buying channels are vastly different from B2C ones. Make sure you select channels that make the most sense for your audience.
- Analyze Data and Trends: Utilize past data to forecast customer behaviors and incorporate market trends to refine promotional strategies.
Tailor marketing strategies to captivate new and existing clients while ensuring transparency and clarity in every offer.
- Targeted Promotions: Identify your audience segments and tailor promotions accordingly.
- Create Content Calendars: Design channel-specific content for better engagement. Schedule content rollout to build anticipation and awareness.
- Promotional Pages Creation: Develop dedicated landing pages to educate users and streamline deal access.
- Clarity in Communication: Be explicit about the offers to eliminate confusion and enhance customer experience.
- Holistic Strategy: Consider all customer segments and design specific campaigns for new and existing clients.
More and more customers rely on mobile devices for a seamless shopping experience. If your campaigns and website aren’t equipped or optimized for mobile traffic, you seriously risk harming the efficacy of your campaigns.
- Mobile Testing: Optimize the mobile interface for UX and ensure compatibility across various devices.
- Payment Options: Offer diverse and secure mobile-friendly payment options such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Team and Technology Readiness
The surge of traffic during peak sales events tests the mettle of your marketing strategies and the readiness of your team and technology infrastructure.
- Team Mobilization: Make sure all teams, especially tech and customer support, are prepared and on standby.
- Fraud Mitigation: Anticipate increased traffic and potential fraud, and prepare the team to address these challenges.
Other Crucial Considerations
Beyond the core preparations and strategies, there are nuanced factors that can significantly influence the outcome of your Black Friday and holiday season sales efforts. These elements, often overlooked, can be the differentiating factors that set your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.
- Timing: Be strategic about when to roll out offers. Too early or too late can impact the perception of your brand and make you seem uncompetitive.
- Discount Duration: Offer 13/14-month subscriptions or 12+1 for free or discounted rates, or reward existing customers for early renewals.
- Product Strategy: Be strategic with the products chosen for discounts to balance customer attraction and profitability. Are you looking to push a new product and drive adoption, or are you looking to revive an existing product seeing a drop off in usage?
Post-Black Friday & Holiday Season Strategies For Long-Term Gains
Take the opportunity to turn the heightened visibility and increased buying activity during the peak season into a catalyst for ongoing business growth, nurturing new and existing customer relationships and solidifying your market position.
- Follow-Up Campaigns: Implement targeted follow-up campaigns to foster loyalty, provide personalized recommendations, and thank customers for purchases. Look at users who signed up but quickly dropped off, or signed up for free trials and didn't convert. Retarget these users or run campaigns to ensure users recognize the value of your product.
- Encourage Reviews: Encourage happy customers to leave reviews and ratings on sites like G2 or Trustpilot. Well-maintained profiles on these websites provide social proof and influence future buyers.
- Customer Behavior Insights: Utilize analytics tools to analyze customer behavior, identifying patterns that can be leveraged for personalized marketing or other campaigns.
- Post-Purchase Support: Ensure robust customer support to address queries and concerns promptly, enhancing the post-purchase experience.
- User Experience Optimization: Analyze user behavior to identify areas for improvement in the website or app’s usability and functionality.
- Sales Data Analysis: Examine sales data to identify best-selling products, customer preferences, and trends to inform future inventory and marketing strategies.
- Strategy Evaluation: Assess the effectiveness of your strategies and campaigns, identifying successes and areas for improvement in future peak seasons.
Watch Our On-demand Webinar and Gain Insights on Mastering the Holiday Season
Unlock the secrets to a record-breaking holiday season with our webinar, Black Friday and Beyond: Proven eCommerce Strategies.
Our expert speakers share invaluable insights backed by real-world examples, empowering you to drive traffic, boost engagement, and maximize conversions during the busiest shopping season of the year. Watch the recording below!
If you'd like to learn how Cleverbridge can help you achieve record breaking revenue this holiday season or explore other revenue growth strategies, please contact email@example.com.