Manufacturers, IT firms, accountants and other business-to-business sellers across the UK are set to add an unexpected dimension to Black Friday as they seek to cash in on the biggest day of the retail calendar, according to a Derby digital marketing agency.
JDR Group, which is based in Pride Park, says while Black Friday has become best-known for the day when consumers go online to buy discount gaming equipment, beauty, fashion and home appliances, it is increasingly being used to launch some unlikely-sounding promotions in other industry sectors.
The company provides web design, social media and content marketing to around 200 small to medium companies around the UK, the majority of whom operate in the B2B market, including construction, manufacturing, and professional services.
While all of them have marketing campaigns active throughout the year, Will Williamson, a director at JDR Group, says more are viewing Black Friday as an opportunity to offer the kind of online limited-time two-for-one deals and discounts usually seen at retailers such as Amazon, John Lewis and Apple.
Although data looking how B2B firms have benefitted from jumping on the Black Friday wagon is scarce, a survey of 100 German B2B online retailers found that 57% of those who took part in the promotion achieved an increase in sales.
And an internet search shows a host of Black Friday discount deals aimed at business buyers, including money-off offers from accountants – as well as 50% off accounting software from Quickbooks – business website providers, engineering firms and employment training firms.
This year’s Black Friday event, which falls on November 24 but will last over the weekend into Cyber Monday, is predicted to generate sales of £8.7bn, with £4.81bn expected to change hands online, according to global data and business intelligence platform Statista.
While only a small percentage of the sales are likely to be made by B2B businesses, Will predicts the value of those sales could be higher than ever, simply because a more diverse range of companies are starting to use the annual buying spree to their advantage.
He said: “A few years ago, a manufacturing firm using Black Friday to launch a sale would have been thought ridiculous, but it’s clear that the B2B sector is waking up to using what has become a major selling season to their advantage.
“It makes perfect sense, since business buyers will be influenced by the buzz surrounding Black Friday and they will be getting Black Friday emails and messages from elsewhere. It means it will be front of mind for them and they will be in sales mode, so companies should be taking advantage, whatever they’re looking to sell.
“While business buyers won’t be making the impulse purchases that characterises the B2C Black Friday, there are still opportunities for firms to promote other products or services that they may not be aware of at a time of year when people are at their most receptive to sales messaging.”
Established in America as the first selling day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday started in the UK as a big day in high street stores, which became infamous for hordes of shoppers jostling with each other to pick up flat screen TVs.
It has since become a bigger day online – in conjunction with Cyber Monday – thanks to the rise of e-commerce and COVID, which forced retailers to develop their digital selling platforms to make up for the lack of footfall during lockdown three years ago.
Although they still trail behind B2C firms in harnessing the power of selling online, Will says B2B sellers are catching up when it comes to ecommerce and are also increasingly using integrated marketing, sales and customer management platforms such as HubSpot, of which JDR Group is an Elite Partner.
A study from Statista last year found 44% of the revenue of B2B companies came via online sales, compared to 32% in 2020. Next year, the percentage is expected to rise to 57%.
To find out more www.jdrgroup.co.uk