WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 2018 holiday sales are predicted to remain strong for small businesses, with a continuing trend toward ecommerce, according to data compiled by SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses. In 2017, holiday sales clustered around Thanksgiving week, with 43% of Americans shopping or dining at independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday.

In 2017, Thanksgiving week revenue increased 33% from the previous year. Last year, shoppers spent:

  • $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday
  • $5 billion on Black Friday
  • $2.9 billion on Thanksgiving
  • $2.4 billion on Small Business Saturday
  • $1.8 billion on the day before Thanksgiving

Consumers gravitated toward online and mobile purchasing during the 2017 holiday shopping season: 

  • Ecommerce sales increased by 17.8%
  • Mobile commerce sales increased by 40%
  • Foot traffic in stores fell 7.5%

Top tips for small business owners to best accommodate holiday shoppers include:

  • Make sure your mobile site loads quickly. Conversions fall by 20% for every second mobile page load time is delayed.
  • Ask for reviews before the season. 96% of shoppers read reviews on retailers' sites, with many consulting more than one website.
  • Provide free shipping. 94% of online shoppers use free shipping when available.
  • Offer gift cards. Holiday shoppers buy an average of four gift cards, making them the second most-popular gift choice after clothing.

Click here to download the full infographic for additional statistics, trends and preparedness tips for small businesses entering the holiday shopping season.