Although the majority of holiday spending is once again expected to take place in December, a survey by the National Retail Federation found that roughly 40 percent of consumers will begin their shopping before Halloween.
The trade organization's findings are backed up in a separate study by Nielsen, which found that as of the second-to-last week in October, 43 percent of Americans had already started their holiday shopping.
According to the NRF, the most popular reasons consumers gave for starting early were to better budget their money, to avoid the crowds later in the season and to evade the stress of last-minute buying.
"One thing is clear. [The holiday season] is not defined by a day or a week," said Steve Barr, U.S. retail and consumer leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
According to his firm's forecast, 13 percent of shoppers plan complete the majority of their shopping before November.
But consumers aren't just hitting the stores ahead of the traditional shopping season. Deloitte's annual spending survey found that 16 percent of consumers would shop after Christmas, with 3 percent planning to do so in January. That's roughly consistent with 2014.
Kathy Allen, NRF's senior director of media relations, said the trade group has looked at the possibility of expanding its forecast. But it ultimately decided against the change so that it could provide historical comparisons.
What's more, Allen said it would be difficult to determine which purchases in September or October were holiday-oriented versus the more everyday buys.
"The large majority of purchases for the holiday season come in November and December," she said.
To her point, retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon once again waited until November to make their big holiday pushes.