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) -- Sick of lines, crazed shoppers and general Black Friday mayhem, more and more consumers are opting to grab bargains on

Cyber Monday

, according to the latest research.

A recent study by marketing specialist


revealed that more people are planning to shop on Cyber Monday -- the Monday following Thanksgiving -- than on Black Friday, generally considered the busiest shopping day of the year.Some 45% of survey respondents said that they will shop on Cyber Monday, compared to 37% who will be braving the crowds on Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season.

The National Retail Foundation NRF also noted that Cyber Monday is gaining momentum as a launch pad for online sales. Research from the NRF's division estimates that nearly 90% of retailers will have special offers for Cyber Monday, up from just 72.2% in 2007.

With promotions such as free shipping to lure online shoppers, Cyber Monday will be bigger than ever this year, according to the NRF. Just under 50% of retailers will offer specific deals, up from 42.9% last year, and a growing number of retailers are planning one-day sales, said the NRF. The Federation also estimates that almost 63% of retailers will send promotions to shoppers through a special Cyber Monday email.


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, for example, is e-mailing customers details of special Cyber Monday deals.

Best Buy

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is holding a two-day online sale on Sunday and Monday.


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, however, is not waiting until Cyber Monday to start its own

holiday sales push

. It kicked off its "special one day shopping event" on Black Friday, which encompasses a host of products and accessories. In addition to free shipping, Apple has cut the cost of its 8-Gbyte iPod Touch from $229 to $208. The tech giant is also offering the 16-Gigabyte Wi-Fi version of the iPad for $458, compared to its usual price of $499.

Despite the growing popularity of Cyber Monday, though, Compete predicts that the typical consumer will spend more money on Black Friday. Black Friday shoppers are expected to spend $353 on average, according to Compete, with Cyber Monday shoppers spending an average of $233.

"The increased spend is likely due to more people shopping for electronics, clothing, and toys and games on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday," explained Debra Miller Arbesman, a senior associate at Compete, in a recent blog post.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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