Merchants around the world are in the middle of their most important few weeks of the year. The holiday season is not only a mad dash from consumers to find all the perfect gifts, but also for businesses to push sales numbers as high as possible before the season is over. In many cases, your success from Black Friday through New Years can be the difference between turning a profit and staying on the red for the year.

The good news for business owners is that a recent study believes this year could be the strongest the retail sector has seen in some time. Research from retail consultancy eMarketer examined the sales number from November and early December, as well as forecasted the remainder of 2013.

The study found that month-to-month sales numbers increased 0.7 percent in November, which is the highest change in several months. What is helping is the increase in in e-commerce and mobile commerce sales. Online shopping will increase 15 percent in 2013, bringing in $61.8 billion. Mobile commerce is expected to reach $41.68 billion through 2017.

Citing similar research, a recent USA Today article attempted to explain the reason for increased spending. The piece points to improved consumer confidence as the main source for these positive numbers. When you consider that the unemployment rate in November reached a five year low, it is easy to see why this confidence exists.

Businesses need to make sure their point of sale system is up to any challenge and every credit card processed through the cash register is secure.