Manic Cyber Monday expected, as e-tailers lure shoppers

This year's Cyber Monday is expected to yield significantly higher sales than last year's, according to Shop.org.

A significantly higher number of US shoppers will buy products online during the so-called Cyber Monday than they did last year during this first work day after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

About 72 million people will shop online from home and work today, as Cyber Monday solidifies its position as the online equivalent of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is a big sales event in physical retail stores nationwide.

Last year, a little more than 60 million US residents shopped online during Cyber Monday, according to a survey by Shop.org, the e-commerce arm of the National Retail Federation retailers' trade group in Washington, D.C. BIGresearch, which conducted the survey, polled almost 2,400 consumers from Nov. 22 to Nov. 24 this year.

Shoppers will find more discounts and special deals than they did last year, since 72.2 percent of online retailers plan to have special promotions, compared with 42.7 percent in 2005's Cyber Monday, according to another survey by Shop.org and comparison shopping site Shopzilla.com. That survey, conducted by BizRate Research, polled 116 online retailers between September 26 and October 8.

In fact, Wal-Mart Stores announced Monday that it will feature online specials at Walmart.com not only on Monday, but through Friday, tripling the number of online specials compared with last year's Cyber Monday week.

Another Shop.org survey found that a lot of the online shopping Monday will take place from offices, as employees with Internet access make purchases while at work. Almost 55 percent of office workers with Internet access will shop online during Cyber Monday this year, compared with almost 51 percent last year, according to the survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch and polled almost 8,000 consumers between October 31 and November 7.

People interested in learning about deals and promotions can visit Shop.org's CyberMonday Web site, which has information from over 550 retailers.

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