Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday elicits images of crowded malls, long lines, and shoppers battling over the last top-selling item left on the shelf. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, calls to mind a far more peaceful image of shoppers reclined in the shadow of their home computers, leisurely clicking through potential gift items.

The evidence supports that more and more people are opting for the relaxed home shopping experience afforded by Cyber Monday. In 2016, Black Friday sales totaled more than $3+ billion, a 20+ percent year-over-year growth rate. Cyber Monday sales added up to a whopping $3+ billion, too. The trends point to a profitable Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.

If you are an Internet retailer, consider these tips to sell more online in the lead-up to the holidays:


    • Be mobile-ready – In 2016, the tipping point happened where mobile traffic reached 50%. Make your website mobile-friendly in order to reach the highest number of potential customers.


    • Check inventory – You do not want to run out of merchandise on the two busiest shopping days of the year. Project how much you expect to sell and then make sure that you have the inventory to meet the orders. Likewise, if something goes out of stock, clearly inform your customers. Otherwise, they will be frustrated when they get an email stating that the product they were banking on is actually out of stock.


    • Offer discounts – Even your loyal customers will gravitate to other sellers who are offering bigger discounts on popular items. The competition on these two busy shopping days is cut-throat, and the sale usually goes to the vendor with the best price.


    • Post your deals on social media – Go where the crowds are. Tout your discounted merchandise on social media platforms.


    • Prepare targeted ads – Do some research to understand how potential customers will be searching for products. Launch an effective advertising campaign featuring your holiday best-sellers by properly managing your keywords and targeted ads.


    • Prioritize SEO – SEO plays a prominent role in the holiday shopping rush. Landing at the top of search engine rankings will give you a better chance of having more visitors and conversions. The top listings in the search engines receive more than 90 percent of all clicks. Since SEO takes time, get a head start on optimization long before the holiday season arrives.


  • Say “thank you” – Stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds by sending thank you notes to past and current customers. This personal touch can build a loyal following of customers, leading to repeat sales for years to come.