With 86% of consumers planning to shop for the upcoming holiday season, we spoke with them to see if they've already gotten an early start. The results are startling - consumers are shopping earlier than ever this year.

According to the latest data from a Google/OTX survey, 44% of shoppers have already started their holiday shopping and researching. In taking a look at query volume using Google Insights for Search, we see that search interest in 'christmas gift' has upticked sharply over recent weeks, demonstrating this increased research activity.

Consumers are not just researching, many have already begun purchasing. In fact, over a third of respondents (36%) said they have already begun making holiday purchases. This demonstrates that consumer are not waiting for the traditional kick off to the season, many are already spending time online researching gift ideas and heading into the store or to your site to make that special purchase.

With consumers already getting into the holiday spirit, is your business reaching them?

Source: Google/OTX Conumser Pulse Check 2009. Data is from week of August 24, 2009.