It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner. Everywhere you look, people are starting to get into the spirit. Black Friday sales are coming soon, and many people are already starting to plan their holiday shopping lists.

For retail business owners, this time of year presents an excellent opportunity to increase sales and revenues. If you don’t have a plan in place, you may miss the boat. These five tips will help you to get organized and make this year the best ever for your ecommerce sales.

1. Take Advantage of Designated Shopping Days

Although Black Friday may be the most popular holiday shopping day, there are many more opportunities to capitalize on holiday sales. Pay attention to designated shopping days listed below and tailor your marketing plan to take advantage of each of them.

  • Black Friday (11/24)
  • Small Business Saturday (11/25)
  • Cyber Sunday (11/26)
  • Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • Green Monday (12/11)
  • Free Shipping Day (12/16)

2. Offer Free Shipping Incentives

Free shipping is a powerful incentive for shoppers, especially those who aren’t 100 percent sure about making a purchase. Statistics show that 31 percent of shoppers will delay a purchase to wait for a free shipping offer and 48 percent will add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. Unless the items you sell are particularly large or heavy, it’s well worth it for you to offer a free shipping option.

3. Implement an Abandoned Cart Recovery System

Some studies predict that as many as 97 percent of online shoppers don’t complete their transaction during the initial visit. Following up with people who leave items in their cart allows you to give a gentle reminder and offer additional incentives to close the deal.

4. Promote Your Products on Social Media

Social media ads allow you to focus on your target demographic, making them very effective for holiday sales promotions. Targeted ads help ensure that you are getting the most of your advertising dollar.

Well-designed ads also have a good chance of being shared. This is most likely to happen when advertising your most popular products or those that are unique, funny, or fit within a specific niche.

5. Capture Last-Minute Shopping Opportunities

Create a sense of urgency by providing shoppers with a deadline for guaranteed delivery in time for the holiday. Offering last-minute deals and other incentives can help you capture additional revenues. Once it’s too late for guaranteed delivery, switch your focus to electronically-delivered gift cards. Keep this up until a few days after the holiday. Last-minute shoppers will appreciate the opportunity to save face, and you’ll be smiling all the way to the bank.

Always remember to provide great customer service, offer valuable deals, and make holiday shopping convenient . Following these simple tips will help you to  finish the year off strong and build loyal customer relationships that last for years to come.