The tool is designed to assist with last minute cell phone reservations.
OpenTable has announced that its recent mcommerce solution release is now helping restaurants to cope with the number of last minute reservations that are coming in over the phone through the use of a mobile friendly website.
This online reservations company allows restaurants to fit their own sites into a smaller screen.
Though many restaurants have taken the step to build a website that will allow customers to make online reservations, when mcommerce started to become a significant player – as such a large number of people now access the internet over their smartphones – the tiny screens and limited capabilities started to present a notable hindrance.
Many restaurants struggled with mcommerce because they didn’t have the tools they needed to optimize.
According to the CEO of OpenTable, Matthew Roberts, “It may be a cost issue, or they don’t know who to call or how to maintain it, but for whatever reason, there’s a lot of things that have created a barrier that has prevented restaurants for doing it before.”
However, OpenTable is now taking steps to reverse that problem. The company is offering its free optimization services to thousands of restaurants for free. This solution is powered by its partner company, DudaMobile. However, the free mcommerce opportunity will continue only for a short time following the launch of this solution. Beginning on January 31, 2013, the service will become fee-based, at an affordable $100.
The three month window of free mcommerce optimization is part of OpenTable’s strategy to ensure that a tremendous number of restaurants optimize their online reservation sites right away.
In this year’s second quarter, alone, 28 percent of the 28 million online reservations that were made through the North American OpenTable services originated from smartphones and tablets. This was an increase of 25 percent over the Q1 of this year. However, the company believes that this growth rate would be significantly higher if it weren’t for the 10 percent of its restaurant customers who have not yet optimized their websites to create versions that are more mcommerce friendly.