8.5% increase in Black Friday sales reported, why “Turkey 5” is so crucial – and what’s next?

We’re finally past the busiest and most hardcore commerce weekend of the year!

Amazon dubbed that weekend “Turkey 5” back in 2018 – the continuation of Thanksgiving shopping ramp up through Black Friday, the following hardcore deals weekend, ending with Cyber Monday. And it’s true – all indicators show that this is the most densely packaged period of the year with consistently high average deal size or GMV.

And unlike other key events like Prime Day, Valentine’s Day, or 4th of July, Black Friday is no DTC-specific, nor limited to the US. I won’t get Christmas involved today due to the sensitivity of international military events happening across the world at the time, but it’s not inclusive to everyone either.

And with the addition of Cyber Monday years ago, this gave permission to all SaaS, digital products, and even service-based businesses to craft solid offers and hook into that whole buying journey.

As a serial founder, advisor, and investor, I’m involved in a broad variety of businesses across dozens of categories. Traditional DTC Ecommerce is one of the segments I’m involved with weekly – heavily through Rush and also DevriX and Growth Shuttle, but other relevant categories include:

  • Digital publishers selling a myriad of solutions: subscriptions, affiliate products, magazines, paid listings
  • B2B commerce – high-ticket propositions for schools and universities, restaurants, corporate buildings, airports
  • SaaS businesses – CRMs, customer experience platforms, VR management, partner portals
  • Rental and booking businesses (escape rooms, trekking vacations, campers)
  • Downloadable software product businesses with over 30 million active users
  • Marketplaces
  • Subscription-based newsletters

Each and every one of them ran Black Friday weekend promos – making this shopping weekend so important and substantial to the commerce ecosystem.

Online sales on Black Friday were 8.5% up this year and Shopify reported a 22% boost in sales this year via their platform compared to last year. This doesn’t include all the other segments and sectors mentioned above.

Businesses globally now try to expand the season until the end of the year and go back to strategizing  January. The heavy R&D season is yet to approach starting with the new year, and we’re expecting to see what the shopping behaviors will look like next year. Jan/Feb are traditionally slower, but we saw different intents during the pandemic – and with the current recession in place, we’re yet to see what January will present to the market.

What are your predictions for Q1?

Yours,
Mario


My Take 


✍️ Navigating the AI Era with Creative Thinking – This week we look at how to stay relevant in the last year of AI crawling and tooling. With the recent limitations for AI crawling it’s become clear SEO isn’t going anywhere. However, readers would still need to find your actionable content in a sea of AI-generated ones.

✍️ 8 Major Factors to Consider When Selling Your Business – Entrepreneurs considering selling their business must evaluate critical factors beyond the initial excitement and potential financial gain of a buyout offer. Read on my latest Forbes article about 8 of the most prominent of these factors.


Newsletter Recommendations

📧 Stacked Marketer – One of my go-to newsletters and a business that we’ve worked with a while ago on the DevriX front. It is loved by marketers who get hands-on with campaigns, who need to stay up-to-date with frequently changing platforms., who need to get an edge, and who need to achieve outsized results with limited resources, aka performance-focused marketers.

📧 The Average JoeMarket trends & insights that are simple, concise, and impactful. This newsletter stands out to me due to the 200,000+ audience that go through market trends and ideas together.

📧 Boldpush – А special newsletter for those interested in marketing intelligence and strategy to the most ambitious brands. Props to Julius Solaris for creating one of my top newsletter reads for GTM strategies and actionable content.

📧 Morning Brew – Аn absolute classic, the Morning Brew delivers top news from a business-minded angle, and deliver it in a short, easy-to-read, actionable, and entertaining way.


Business Strategy

📄 Websites block Google-Extended – More than 250 websites now block Google-Extended, the “standalone product token” Google introduced Sept. 28 to let you block Bard, Vertex AI generative APIs and future generations of models from accessing your content.

📄 The US Ad Market Grows – The U.S. advertising market grew for the fourth consecutive month in October, marking a 3.2% increase over the same month in 2022 and signaling a recovery from recession for major agencies and media companies. This growth was evenly distributed across the top 10 ad categories and other sectors, offering a positive outlook despite ongoing geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

📄 Shein to go Public – Shein, the fast-fashion online retailer based in Singapore, has confidentially filed for a U.S. IPO, potentially one of the largest in recent years, despite a challenging U.S. IPO market. The company, valued at around $66 billion, has expanded its business model to include third-party sellers and acquisitions, faces scrutiny over its supply chain, and is diversifying manufacturing beyond China amid geopolitical tensions and accusations of forced labor in its supply chain.

📄 US Thanksgiving weekend sales hit record – U.S. shoppers spent approximately $38 billion online during the Thanksgiving weekend, a 7.8% increase from last year, surpassing initial forecasts. This surge in spending, driven by deep discounts on a wide range of products and the growing use of Buy Now, Pay Later services, indicates a strong holiday shopping season despite economic uncertainties and a shift in consumer spending patterns.

📄 Swedish court sides with Tesla – A Swedish court ruled that the country’s transport authority must deliver license plates to Tesla, overriding the refusal of postal workers to deliver them amid industrial action. The dispute arose from Tesla’s reluctance to sign a collective bargaining agreement, leading to strikes and sympathetic actions by various unions. The court’s decision mandates delivery within seven days or a fine, highlighting ongoing tensions between Tesla and Swedish labor groups over collective bargaining practices.


Global News

📈 Stock futures are struggling for traction after Monday’s pullback, while bond yields creep higher. The S&P 500 SPX will soon wrap its best month in more than a year. Even the limp to the finish to November that seems to be playing out won’t move the needle on that.

  • S&P: 4,556 (+0.42%)

📈 The rise in mortgage rates comes alongside appreciating home prices, both of which have hampered homebuying activity. More than half of home purchase mortgages originated in July had a monthly payment greater than $2,000, according to Black Knight. Twenty-three percent of originations in July had a payment over $3,000. The affordability squeeze is stretching budgets, and keeping many first-time homebuyers out of the market altogether.

  • 30-year mortgage rate: 7.81% (+0.07%)
  • 15-year mortgage rate: 7.05% (+0.04%)

📈 Federal Reserve policymakers look increasingly comfortable closing out the year with U.S. interest rates on hold and the clock ticking on how soon to deliver a first rate cut as they try to engineer a “soft landing” for the economy. Additional Fed rate increases remain a possibility if upcoming data includes an unexpected resurgence of price pressures. And an unforeseen shock could blow up the soft-landing scenario.

📰 This week we see good news for a temporary ceasefire

  • Alex Murdaugh sentenced to 27 years for financial crimes against his former clients.
  • Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend a temporary cease-fire for two days.
  • Investing guru Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner at Berkshire Hathaway, has died at age 99

Investing Updates

  • Collabwriting – offers a collaborative solution to increase team productivity.
  • Re:Invent– offers a solution to optimise revenue streams for commercial real estate. 
  • InteroCloud– provides a digital healthcare management platform for small and medium clinics in CEE. 

Note: Got a round going that you want to feature – your own business or a portfolio company? Get in touch.

Day Trading Coaching Business– This business is a day trading coaching business with over 1K students. It operates at a profit margin of 40%, and has over 900 positive testimonials from past students.

  • Monthly Profit: $273.7K
  • Annual Revenue: $8.1M
  • Age: 3 years

Coding Courses Library– This website offers over 30 courses on coding for a popular visual programming tool. It operates at a profit margin of 83%, with a TTM revenue of $203K and multiple revenue streams.

  • Monthly Profit: $14K
  • Average Order Value: $156
  • Age: 2 years

Email Outreach SaaS A highly scalable business helping B2B companies managing cold emails. With 31 active customers, a growing customer base and decreasing churn rate.

  • Monthly Profit: $18.8K
  • Annual Revenue: $892.6K
  • Age: 4 years

Need my Help? 

I’m involved with a number of initiatives – here’s what I can do to help you:

🌐 Scalable and secure WordPress? DevriX provides WordPress retainers to SMEs, publishers, eCommerce, SaaS, and more. Our plans start from $1,200/mo to $40K/mo for anything from support through engineering, CRO, performance, security, to fractional CXO services and managing the data stacks of large corps.

🛒 Running on Shopify? Set up Rush now and increase your revenue with post-purchase orders automatically!

🚀 Want to scale and optimize your business? Growth Shuttle offers personalized advisory plans starting at $600/hr. Tap into my personal pool of business know-how and my data warehouse of industry data.

👥 Want access to my blueprints/books and a weekly Slack planning session? Join my Community and grab my Entrepreneurship book

📈 Looking to start a US company? Check out doola and their “Business in a Box” model. Suitable for both foreigners and US citizens and both for residents and non-residents.

📊 Have you tried buying and selling digital property? Have a look at Flippa’s marketplace. They offer a vast variety of online businesses for any buyer’s interests. Or if you’re ready for an exit, Flippa provides you with the necessary tools to list your business and close the deal.

💼 Looking for investment opportunities? Check out SeedBlink and use Nimity to manage it.

💡 Eager to incorporate my recommended solutions? Track my angel investments. Sharing, applying for open roles, or writing reviews helps a ton.  And anything else I try to publish on my blog and my courses here!