Cisco's Linksys operation is adding consumer retail to its website for European markets. The online store will help consumers to research and compare Linksys products and purchase directly for home delivery.

The company said explicitly that it intends to create home networking apps specifically for its products, but it declined to provide details.

Access to the store is being rolled out gradually on a country-by-country basis.

"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."

More than half of European consumers order products or services online today. The annual growth rate of the European e-commerce market is expected to continue to be above 10 percent, and consumer electronics is the leading product category in sales across Europe, according to statistics from Forrester Research cited by Linksys.

"Our research 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 and digital marketing for Cisco's 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."