The early reports suggest that consumers will be opening their wallets a little wider this year for the holidays. But, they will also be looking for deals. Retailers who want to score early sales should know that they’ll need to roll out their marketing campaigns now capture the business of consumers who are already shopping.

While some consumers look for Christmas bargains throughout the year, at least 40% begin their holiday shopping during the month of October. The 2012 Consumer Spending Report from Valpak notes that holiday shoppers will also be trying to limit spending. About 46% plan to keep their budget under $500. This means more than half, 53%, will be looking for coupons. The most popular categories for coupons are:

  •  Toys/games 60%
  • Food/catering/groceries 56%
  • Electronics 56%
  • Entertainment 48%

Surveyed shoppers noted that while trying to keep their spending in check, more than 50% may cut down on eating out. Restaurants who want to maintain business during the holiday season may want to offer coupons to entice busy shoppers to step through the door.

Consumers are also convinced that shopping on big days like the day after Thanksgiving or Small Business Saturday can result in savings. Nearly 1/3 of shoppers will venture out on these days. Another 25% will try to buy something for themselves on Cyber Monday.

These findings should prompt marketers to release coupons to strategically increase sales during the upcoming holiday season. To learn more, especially about consumers who support local retailers during Small Business Saturday, check out the report on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.

[Source: 2012 Holiday Spending Survey. Valpak. 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012]