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Coupon Site Targets Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Bargain hunters have helped establish Black Friday and Cyber Monday as among the biggest shopping days of the year. Now coupon site RetailMeNot said it's ready to feed that shopping frenzy with two portal sites.

On Nov. 27, Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving -- will mark the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season with retailers fighting to outdo themselves with aggressive discounts and deals. Then comes the newer "Cyber Monday" (Nov. 30, this year) that's geared to consumers surfing the Web for online deals the day they get back to work from the Thanksgiving break -- as time and the boss looking over your shoulder allows, of course.

The two portals will feature a continuously updated list of the top Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons from among the more than 400,000 coupons currently offered on RetailMeNot.com.

In addition, they will both feature live Twitter feeds so any deals tagged #blackfriday or #cybermonday will appear on the page.

Consumers can also sign up for RetailMeNot's "Hot Coupons" newsletter that sends the top Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons voted by users straight to their e-mail inboxes.

RetailMeNot had significant traffic last year during the two big shopping days. In 2008 retailers generated more than $5.5 million in sales on Black Friday and $6.9 million in sales on Cyber Monday via RetailMeNot.com, the company said.

"Consumers get more savvy each year when it comes to finding the holiday bargains and in response, retailers will be offering more discounts than ever this season to entice budget-conscious shoppers," Guy King, co-founder of RetailMeNot.com, said in a statement.

Coupons on the grow

Online coupons are a big and growing business for both online and brick and mortar retailers.

According to comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), almost 60 percent of consumers now say they are using coupons more often to reduce their shopping expenses and more than half of those said they are getting coupons from online services.

Search engine Ask.com recently launched a "one-stop shop" Ask Deals coupon site that features over a million coupons and discount offers. The company said Ask Deals scours almost all of the top 40 coupon sites (including RetailMeNot) as well as various community sites to find the best deals.

Ask Deals leverages Ask's search technology to help users find deals on specific items, from juicers to restaurants to flash drives, vacation packages, etc. The main Ask.com search site also now has a "deal$" option so you can search right in the box you might otherwise use for more conventional searches.

Then, of course, there are the dedicated deal-aggregation sites like bfads.net and blackfriday.gottadeal.com, which not only display coupons for Black Friday discounts, but often post print and online advertisements ahead of their official scheduled dates of publication -- giving proactive shoppers an edge in sussing out a steal.