IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 22, 2011) - In its continuous effort to expand the Linksys® global home networking business, Cisco today announced the launch of its Linksys online store throughout Europe The new online store will help consumers to research and compare Linksys products, purchase directly with a click of a button, and enjoy the convenience of having their order shipped to their homes. The online store is the first of many improvements that are scheduled for the Linksys website, such as the introduction of consumer product reviews.

"We have seen that our online stores not only increase our market reach, they also provide a great opportunity to better understand our customers and improve their overall shopping experience," said Brett Wingo, general manager of Cisco's home networking business. "In the future we plan to expand the direct store to offer additional software apps and services for our products that will further enhance our customer's home networking experience."

Business-to-consumer e-commerce has seen tremendous growth since the inception of the Internet, with more than half of Europeans ordering products or services online today. The annual growth rate of the European e-commerce market is expected to continue to be above 10%, according to Forrester Research Inc.(1) Also, according to Forrester, consumer electronics is the leading product category in sales across Europe.

The website is a key source of information in the shopping process for customers, especially in the electronics industry. While the retail customer relies more on recommendations from friends and family and the expert staff at a store, the online customer seeks those same recommendations via social media channels, online reviews and popular shopping engines.

"Our research(2) indicates that our website is amongst the top three sources of information for consumers to research and compare products prior to purchase, next to reading online reviews and getting personal recommendations from friends and family," said Neeraj Tolmare, director of worldwide E-commerce & Digital Marketing, Cisco home networking business. "Trends indicate that even though a majority of online consumers are using websites to uncover the best price point, the manufacturer's store usually represents the official place for the sale of the product, providing a unique value to consumers."

With a goal of providing an end-to-end shopping experience, Cisco has started to redesign all European consumer websites. The website will offer solution packages, for example a Wireless-N router and Wireless-N Bridge, which will provide a better purchasing experience and ultimately a better overall experience with their home network.

The Linksys direct online stores are planned to be launched in countries listed below in the table - next year more countries are planned to be launched.

Country Launch date Link
Austria 8 December 2011
Denmark 22 November 2011
Germany 8 December 2011
Netherlands 22 November 2011
Norway 22 November 2011
Poland 22 November 2011
Sweden 22 November 2011
Switzerland 8 December 2011
UK 22 November 2011

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(1) Forrester European Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015", February 28, 2011

(2) Cisco home networking products shopping experience, October 2011

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