Black Friday is this week! It is a day when many retailers go “in the black” and make a large number of sales that makes them profitable for the year. Obviously, I work with many online retailers (and some offline retailers as well), and I’m a big proponent of them having Black Friday sales and becoming profitable.

Unfortunately, this day has been hijacked by everyone, whether they are a retail business or not. And sadly, many retailers have ruined it as well, turning it into a joke by starting their sales on Thanksgiving day.

But when business to business (B2B) companies are asking you to update your software or renew your license with them, it takes away from those retail stores who rely on this day to make their businesses profitable.

We were discussing this in my mastermind last week, and I find it a real turn-off to get emails like the one I got from Network Solutions:

Black Friday Early – $500 Off Websites

What does this have to do with Black Friday? – nothing other than greed on the part of the company promoting such garbage.

Or how about this one?

Diib’s Black Friday Deal: 70% off Diib Pro Annual

You get data and insights for webstoresltd.com that will help you get to the top of the Domain Parking industry. Again, what does this have to do with Black Friday? These are businesses trying to get me to spend money, but these “deals” have nothing to do with Christmas or gift-giving.
It is for that reason that I am not going to be offering any Black Friday specials on my services (I’m going to wait until Cyber Week, which is much more appropriate for a technology company, to announce my year-end sales). So stay tuned – there will be some amazing announcements soon!

Even ChatGPT agrees with me:

The phenomenon of B2B (Business-to-Business) companies participating in Black Friday, traditionally a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) event, can be attributed to several factors. However, this strategy can be problematic for several reasons:

  1. Dilution of Brand Message: Black Friday is traditionally associated with consumer retail. B2B companies engaging in Black Friday sales might dilute their brand message and confuse their core B2B audience, who may not associate B2B offerings with such consumer-focused sales events.
  2. Mismatched Buyer Intent: B2B purchasing decisions are often driven by long-term needs and strategic considerations, rather than the impulsive, deal-seeking behavior typical of Black Friday. This mismatch can lead to ineffective marketing and a misallocation of resources.
  3. Value Perception: In B2B transactions, the emphasis is often on the value, quality, and long-term benefits of products or services. Participating in Black Friday, which is often perceived as a discount-driven event, might undermine this value perception.
  4. Complex Sales Cycles: B2B sales usually involve longer, more complex cycles with multiple stakeholders. The quick decision-making encouraged by Black Friday promotions might not align well with the typical B2B sales process.
  5. Customer Relationships: B2B relationships are built on trust, reliability, and a deep understanding of the client’s needs. Engaging in aggressive discounting strategies like those common on Black Friday might not fit with the ethos of relationship-building in B2B markets.
  6. Operational Strain: B2B companies may not be equipped to handle the sudden surge in demand that Black Friday can bring, leading to operational challenges and potentially impacting customer service and satisfaction.
  7. Market Confusion: This approach can create confusion in the market, as B2B customers may not expect or understand why a B2B company is participating in a traditionally B2C event.

In conclusion, while the lure of increased sales and visibility is understandable, B2B companies need to carefully consider whether participating in Black Friday aligns with their brand strategy, market position, and customer expectations.

Are you a B2B company offering Black Friday sales? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you think this is a good idea. Are you a retail company that is NOT offering Black Friday specials? If so, I’d love to hear why you have opted out of the big day (like REI has done since 2015). Let me know how these decisions affect your annual sales.