Back in January, Apple announced what I consider to be the Google my business version of Apple Maps. It’s a free tool for businesses called Apple Business Connect. Whether you’re a small startup or a massive corporation, this lets you jazz up how your info is displayed across Apple apps, like Apple Maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, and more.
So what does Apple Business Connect do?
According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of Services, Business Connect is designed to give business owners all the tools they need to interact with customers on a more personal level. It really puts you in the driver’s seat in terms of how billions of people see and engage with your business every day.
This is especially useful if you want to target local potential customer engagement on Apple Maps. You can directly control your info in the Apple Maps place card. Maybe add some snazzy photos, or let customers order food or book a reservation straight from Maps. You can even dangle some promotions in front of them!
The cherry on top
There’s this new feature called Showcases which allows you to put forward special offers, like seasonal specials or discounts. You can tweak the Showcase part of your place card whenever you want via Business Connect. Showcases are ready for US businesses starting now, and the global crowd can get in on the action in the coming months.
Plus, businesses can help customers out by pointing out actions they can take directly from the Maps place card – things like ordering groceries via Instacart, booking a hotel through Booking.com, or even grabbing a dinner spot with OpenTable. All of this is convenience at its finest!
Registering for Business Connect is pretty simple. All you need is your existing Apple ID, or just create a new one, then head to the self-service website on any desktop or laptop. Once you’re logged in and Apple has given you the green light, you can claim your location(s) and start designing your place card – all for the low, low price of absolutely free.
For businesses with many locations, Business Connect even includes an API that can help you keep Maps updated with the correct info at a large scale. You can do this through listing management agencies like Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext.
Apple had the little guys in mind when they thought up Business Connect. It gives small businesses the same chance to shine online as the big brands. And it adds to Apple’s existing services designed to help small businesses like Tap to Pay on iPhone and Business Essentials, which include device management, round-the-clock support, and cloud storage. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!
As Apple continues to update the GPS and maps on their iPhones. I think many more consumers will be using Apple Maps over the traditional GPS like Tom Tom etc. This is a great opportunity for brick-and-mortar businesses to promote through Apple Maps. And it’s free so you literally have nothing to lose.