GO DigitalAccording to a new research report from G/O Digital, “Holiday Purchasing Habits: A Digital Advantage for Local Businesses,” small businesses need to execute a digital marketing plan early in order to make a big impact this holiday season. The report surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers who research holiday purchases online.

In the study, 62 percent of respondents said they go straight to search engines when researching gifts for the holiday season, while more than three-quarters look online for holiday shopping deals and discounts. The majority of respondents stated that they stay within 10 miles of their homes.

It was also found that consumers prefer to shop at businesses that have the best discounts and promotions, regardless of business size, though discounts of 15 percent or more will draw holiday shoppers in-store.

Among other findings, almost half of respondents, or approximately 47 percent, said they start thinking about holiday purchases before November, while 71 percent said they always or often research a product online before shopping in-store. Less than one percent never research online prior to heading in-store.

When asked on which platform they are most likely to see a promotion from a local business and click on it, 51 percent said email. Almost one third of respondents said they have purchased an item from a local business based on an advertisement they saw on Facebook.

The full report can be downloaded from G/O Digital’s website.