Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping days of the year. The total sales for the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend (including Cyber Monday) was estimated to be between $10-15 billion, a double digit percentage increase over the previous year.

Holiday shopping does not end with Cyber Monday, of course. It continues through New Year’s Eve, with people buying gifts for their loved ones, home décor items and food for holiday parties. For this year, all projections point to even higher holiday sales volumes.

As a retailer, whether brick-and-mortar or online, you are undoubtedly eager to cash in on the shopping bonanza of the holiday season. You can increase your sales in the lead-up to the holidays by taking the following steps:

  • Start yesterday – While there will always be last minute shoppers, the majority of consumers start a liiiiittttle earlier than the day before Christmas. If you are an online retailer and have not yet started preparing for the holiday shopping frenzy, you’re already losing money. Start today and work quickly. Keep in mind that shoppers do their research before buying. Make sure that you have a strong online presence if you aim to sell more this holiday season. This means that you should be blogging, on social media, releasing press releases, etc. Be everywhere to add that extra layer of credibility that your shoppers need to convert.
  • Dial in your advertising – For example; if you have been spending a big chunk of your advertising budget on banner ads, think twice. Many online visitors now use ad blockers, so you may be wasting your money. Find other ways of getting noticed that are more targeted, like social media advertising.
  • Use bloggers to increase sales – Savvy customers check their favorite bloggers’ input before buying holiday gifts. Consumers perceive bloggers as trustworthy and unbiased, so if you can win bloggers’ trust, they could help you sell your products.

Using the right strategies can help you get your piece of the pie during the holiday shopping period.