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11/24/2008
09:40 AM
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Retailers Gear Up For Cyber Monday, Black Friday

The National Retail Federation predicts a rise in online shopping, as well as an increase in online promotions.

Observers expect more Cyber Monday promotions than ever this year, as retailers look to e-commerce to boost holiday shopping sales.

Shop.org, the National Retail Federation's digital division, reported that 83.7% of Internet retailers surveyed plan special promotions for the Monday after Thanksgiving. That's up from 72.2% last year.

The group's eHoliday Survey found that 38.8% of online retailers plan specific deals, while 32.7% plan e-mail campaigns and 24.5% plan one-day sales. About 23% will offer free shipping on all purchases, according to Shop.org.

"As shoppers focus on price this holiday season, online retailers will be extremely competitive to offer the very best deals," Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, said in a statement. "Americans who are looking to put a dent in their holiday shopping will be able to find thousands of bargains on Cyber Monday." Shop.org coined the term Cyber Monday after retailers noticed a spike in online shopping the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2005. The group said that more than half of people with Internet connections (55.8%), or 72.8 million, would shop from their offices. That's up from 44.7% of people with Internet connections who bought holiday gifts from work in 2005.

A BIGresearch survey, conducted for Shop.org, predicted that 70.0% of people ages 18 to 34 with Internet access would shop from work and a higher percentage of men (60.3%) planned to shop from work than women (51.5%). CyberMonday.com, which launched two years ago, will feature more than 600 retailers' holiday promotions starting next week and continuing through the holidays. CyberMonday features exclusive offers alongside the best promotions featured on members' sites. This year, it will add a "Deal of the Hour," with discounts, specials on free shipping, and free gifts with purchases. Last year, more than 1.5 million holiday shoppers visited the site. That's three times the number of visitors in 2006. Shop.org predicts even more traffic this year.

In addition to Cyber Monday specials, 28.6% of retailers said they plan to increase online marketing of Black Friday sales this year, according to Shop.org. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally the heaviest shopping day of the year. The eHoliday study found that retailers will market their sales through e-mail (74.3%), home page advertising (62.9%), and search ads (54.3%).

BIGresearch polled 8,757 consumers from Nov. 5-11, while Shop.org's eHoliday study polled 60 retailers from Oct. 1-20.

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