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4 Out of 10 Consumers Will Start Holiday Shopping Before Halloween

The Ho Ho Ho-lidays are here! Yes, I know Halloween is still a week away, but according to the National Retail Federation, 41% of Americans have already started shopping for the holidays. (I’m almost done, how about you?)

Shopping early means you don’t have the benefit of all those steep Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but that doesn’t mean consumers are going to miss out. 36.6% of consumers said that sales and discounts would determine where they shop this year.

And here’s great news, 51.8% plan to shop online, buying an average of 38.8% of their gifts. Both of these numbers represent a jump up over last year. The forecast for the season? Cold and blustery with a 12% rise in online sales. That’s $96 billion dollars up for grabs, so make sure you get your cut.

New Study Says Men Want the Right Thing, Not Just the Newest Thing

Break Media has just released a new report called “The Definitive Guide to Men.” When I saw it, I thought I’d finally get the answers to the questions I’ve had burning in my heart for years — sadly, it’s only about men as consumers. That’s good for you, the marketer, but not as helpful for me, the woman.

But let’s not dwell on my disappointment. Let’s see what we can learn from this intimate look at the buying behaviors of the American male.

Break surveyed 2,000 men and found that the major of them were striving to be a “good guy.” They’re interested in doing what’s best for their family and their friends. They were willing to give up career goals in order to be more of a family man and 55% said they’d like to be a stay-at-home dad but they feel pressured to be the major breadwinner.

I’d Like to Order a Medium Pizza with a Side of Louboutin Shoes

If you have a craving for a peperoni pizza and a new pair of fashionable shoes, relax — you can have them both in under 90 minutes.

Shutl’s rockets are on the way from the UK to the USA. Once they get here, they’ll start delivering  your online purchases to your home or office, sometimes in under an hour. According to their website, their fastest delivery time in the past week was 20m:26 seconds. I can’t imagine them beating that in Los Angeles where it takes 20 minutes just to go five blocks but they’re going to try.

The company is launching soon in ten US cities: Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto. They aren’t showing off a list of stores yet, but in the UK they include electronics hub Maplin, Laithewaites Wines and several fashion outlets such as Karen Miller and Oasis.

Shopping Engagement: Facebook Has the Reach but Pinterest Has the Passion

When it comes to online shopping neither Facebook nor Pinterest has had much success with conversions, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Bizrate Insights asked consumers to list the reasons they use either of the social sites, then they compared the results with this handy-dandy chart.

Users of both sites found them to be entertaining and a good place to connect with people who have similar interests. But after that, it’s all Pinterest. Look at the second set of bars. 70% of Pinterest users said the site inspires them to buy things. That’s huge.

Shoppers Use Mobile for Deals and Research But Rarely to Buy

Every year, we expect mobile to become an even more significant factor in holiday shopping but its use is still far from mainstream.

According to Marketlive’s 4th Annual “Mindset of a Multi-Channel Shopper” survey only 16% of shoppers plan to do all or most of their shopping with a mobile device. That is up 3% from last year, but given the flood of tablets and smartphones on the market, shouldn’t that number be higher?

There was a significant increase in the number of shoppers using mobile to research a purchase, 29% up from 12% in 2011.

Survey Says a Large Portion of Online Shopping is Done After Dark

When I get up in the morning, my inbox is filled with marketing messages from the brands I follow. I delete most of them without reading them. Why? Not because I’m not interested, but because I can’t deal with this deluge personal information at the start of my work day. If only these brands would send the emails in the evening when I’m sitting on the couch browsing with my iPad. . . (hint, hint.)

According to a new study from Yesmail, 60% of consumers say they’d rather interact with brands on social media between 6 pm and 2 am. 40% say they do their online shopping after 6 pm.

Conversely, only 5% of email campaigns are set to hit between 6 and 10 pm and the majority of Facebook campaigns launch during the day.

Just In Time for the Holidays, Facebook Gifts

Now we are getting somewhere.

Facebook is rolling out a service called, creatively enough, Facebook Gifts which allows Facebook users to buy gifts for friends from inside of Facebook. No, it’s not a virtual gift and yes it can be done from a mobile device. So Facebook appears to have killed two previously unwanted birds with this one deal. From the LA Times we hear

The social networking giant announced a new service Thursday afternoon called Facebook Gifts that will let users buy and send each other presents they can enjoy in real life.

To start, these presents include Starbucks gift cards, stuffed animals and cupcakes, but Facebook said it will continue to add more options every day.

If you like pictures to tell a story here you go.