Christmas Shopping Starts in October for 26% of Shoppers

Stores respond with earlier discounts

Google’s new Holiday Shopper Intentions survey finds that 26 percent of all shoppers start searching for gift deals not in the days leading up to Thanksgiving—but before Halloween. Retailers are responding by offering Black Friday-styled discounts through the entire month of November, rather than limiting the annual event to a single day.

Shoppers are also using more technology as they plan their holiday purchases. In 2010, the average was just five sources before making a purchase, but in 2013, it was up to 12 sources—and that number is expected to increase again this year. And 75 percent of consumers plan to use their mobile devices while shopping in-store this season. Additionally, Google found that 46 percent of those shoppers still make a purchase in the store after doing on-the-spot research.

Another interesting finding from the online survey is that one-third of all shopping research happens between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. And rather than visiting stores' websites to see specific products, Google found that shoppers are increasingly also browsing sites like Pinterest and YouTube.

These trends mirror what advertisers see in other industries, with consumers more and more turning to mobile sharing and research for all aspects of their lives.

And advertisers are starting to follow suit. A recent Vdopia study found that telecommunications companies are putting as much as 77 percent of their marketing budget into video and rich media.

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