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A recent industry white paper cites ten percent of online purchases come from a smartphone or tablet computer.  The same source predicts that by 2017, that percentage will be up to 50 percent.

There is no doubt that online and mobile commerce is getting more pervasive.

Some may refer to this as the beginning of Web 3.0, the convergence of social and commercial media, or what is becoming known as social commerce, wherein smart marketers use the power of social media to drive word-of-mouth information and then offer customers a way to make an immediate purchase.

As we look towards the future, we see social commerce as a turning point for online businesses.  It gives users the power to make direct purchases of products recommended by friends.  Their credit card, address and personal information may even be eventually synced with their social media accounts.  The act of making purchases will be easier.

NetWaiter has provided restaurants an early avenue into social commerce for several years in the form of our Facebook integration.  When a customer places an online order through NetWaiter, they have the opportunity to use their Facebook account to login, which also provides the option to post a message about their order to their Facebook page.  Not only does the post give restaurants immediate promotion, but there is also a link back to the restaurant’s NetWaiter site for others to view the menu and place their own orders.

The truth is – customers have always had the power of word-of-mouth advertising.  For the most part, it was simply passed on in personal conversations.  Because much more is on the web now, word-of-mouth advertising provides restaurant owners significantly more leverage and the ability to capture additional sales.

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