đź’µ The Black Friday Breakdown

New Records (and interesting stats). Plus, how to win right now.

This is The Level Ups. Modern business news for the future business leader (in plain-Jane English).


  • Black Friday sets records.

  • Breakdown of the numbers.

  • Is your business ready for what’s next?

  • How to win.

Let’s get into it.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes & 30 seconds. 

Black Friday Sales: $9.1B

CNBC reports the number, and it’s astonishing (aren’t we in a recession)?

We are. How can we tell?

Because “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) transactions were up 81%.

Some people are absolutely screwed when it’s time to pay up. Hopefully, you’re not one of those people.

A leader in BNPL, Klarna, ran a study in 2020 and discovered that one out of every three millennials cites credit card debt as a major fear.

That’s why BNPL works.

The problem? Using credits to make those payments anyway. Kind of defeats the point, doesn’t it?

The lesson is obvious, make sure you can actually “pay later.”

But for businesses, the lesson might be different.

The world is getting used to flexible payment terms.

Does your business offer them?

Big Winners (By The Numbers):

Meanwhile, Shopify announces the best Black Friday ever (global sales of $3.3B). That’s a 17% increase compared to last year.

Shopify wasn't the only winner.

What are these people buying?

Electronics, toys, and fitness equipment sales were all up 200%+ compared to an average October day.

How come malls weren’t so busy?

Because online shopping is taking over. You knew this was coming. It was up 4% this year. 48% of shopping was done online (44% last year).

What’s Going on Here?

Something seemingly doesn’t add up. CNBC reports how consumer sentiments weakened in November.

If that’s the case, where are the records coming from?

Inflation is a big factor in all this spending.

It’s also very likely that fewer people are shopping but spending more. Is this the widening wealth gap?

Maybe, people say they don’t want to shop and do it anyway. Sounds like that’s also very likely, given the sales numbers.

What’s Next?

For consumers, it’s looking like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Was this really the best time to go on a buying spree?

The deals weren’t even that good, to be honest.

Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean it’s the best price.

For businesses, here’s my opinion on what to expect.

  • Raising the price before putting it on sale. It might look like a nice discount, but the final price isn’t so different.

  • Urging shoppers to move online (even more). Running stores is expensive.

  • Cutting corners and dropping quality.

So, how does a business win?

Let’s look at the top 3 out of the 10 fastest-growing industries right now:

  • Airports

  • Hotels & Resorts

  • Travel Agencies

  • Tourism

  • Casinos & Online Gambling

Maybe you’re not in these industries, but they tell you something about what consumers want.

Experiences. In-person especially, but also online.

  • Stores must evolve and make people feel like they’re in a new world.

  • A client dinner has to create a whole experience.

  • Simple transactions can’t leave people saying “wtf.”

Does your company make people feel anything when they do business with you? Is your culture fun, exciting, and memorable?

The fastest-growing industries right now offer that.

When the season of bargain deals ends (and people need to finally "pay later"), this will set you apart from your competition.

Let me know if any questions.

Thanks for reading!


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