Mobile phones are joining brick-and-mortar stores, Web sites and catalogs as an important retail channel and represent a new revenue opportunity for retailers, according to a report from San Jose-based Cisco Systems Inc. The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group study surveyed 45 North American and European retailers and found 42% provide customers with the ability to view product information through reformatted Web pages or specific mobile pages. But only 15% of those retailers offer a way to complete transactions on a mobile phone, while 10% use text messaging to provide customers with information. Six percent have Web pages and a Web site location specifically designed for mobile use. "Multi-channel retailing has morphed into a web of shopper touchpoints across stores, catalogs, mobile devices and the Internet," Dick Cantwell, the group's vice president of retail/consumer packaged goods practice, says in statement. He suggests retailers must "start offering shoppers an 'interconnected shop' if they are to take advantage of the mobile opportunity." The survey cited Inc. with the top e-commerce Web site. In April, the U.S.-based company launched a service that enables customers to use text messages to find and buy products sold on its Web site.

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