As days get darker and shorter and the holiday season approaches, The Motherhood’s social listening and research team took a look at 2016 holiday shopping trends:

Holiday Shopping Begins Early

It seems like the start of the holiday shopping season begins earlier and earlier each year. However, 2016 may have taken it to a new level: Nearly one-third of American consumers and nearly half of parents began their holiday shopping before Labor Day, according to a Rubicon Project poll.

Consumers are Seeking “Pinspiration”

It may come as no surprise that some of those early holiday shoppers are also Pinterest users. According to Pinterest, its users began planning for the holidays in September. Pinners are also expected to spend twice as much on the holidays than the general public.

Check out this by-the-numbers look at holiday search trends on Pinterest:

Just this week alone, our network of influential moms have pinned holiday related content almost 300 times, resulting in 23 million impressions on Pinterest alone.

Holiday Shopping Trends in an Election Year

In the weeks prior to the election, a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey indicated that 43 percent of American consumers reported “being more cautious with their spending due to the uncertainty of the election season.”

Now that the results are in, predictions are mixed. Those unhappy with the outcome are projected to spend less this holiday season. Benjamin Glaser with DealNews said, “[They’re] just not happy with what direction the country is headed.” However, those who favor the outcome “will be in the shopping spirit this season,” according to Britt Beemer, chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group, who predicts a 6 to 7 percent increase in shopping by Trump-supporting consumers (CNBC).

Still, NRF expects retail sales in November and December to increase by 3.6 percent to more than $665 billion. Online sales are forecast to increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.

The Quest for the Best Deals

According to a survey by Fluent, 40 percent of U.S. consumers said they will shop online on Cyber Monday, compared to 39 percent who say they plan on taking part in the brick-and-mortar Black Friday specials.

Consumers seeking deals on electronics, appliances and toys are better off shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, and those looking for discounts on clothing and beauty products may find better deals on Cyber Monday (CBS News).

The NRF shared its predictions on where consumers intend on shopping this holiday season:

Less Shopping on Thanksgiving

This year, many retailers – including The Mall of America, IKEA, The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond and Nordstrom – have decided to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day. Brands making that decision cite their belief that employees should be able to spend time with their families over the holidays. The number of Thanksgiving Day shoppers has been declining, too: Last year, 34.6 million adults shopped on Thanksgiving, down from 43.1 million in 2014 and 44.8 million in 2013, according to annual surveys from the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics (The New York Times).

Are you surprised by any of these holiday shopping trends? Share with us in the comments!