Apple Launches Business Connect to Give Businesses More Control of Local Presence
Apple this week announced the launch of Business Connect, a new feature that allows businesses of all sizes to control how they appear to Apple Maps users. The move comes as consumers increasingly use maps apps to discover local businesses, whether by browsing an area or searching for a specific kind of business near them.
“We created Business Connect to provide users around the world with the most accurate information for places to eat, shop, travel, and more,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “Apple Business Connect gives every business owner the tools they need to connect with customers more directly, and take more control over the way billions of people see and engage with their products and services every day.”
Some of the actions businesses can take with Connect include managing their photos, adding calls to action for customers such as ordering food or making a reservation directly in Maps, or distributing marketing messages. Showcase is an entire feature of the Connect platform dedicated to marketing.
Businesses can use their Apple ID to register for Connect via the Connect self-serve platform. Business Connect API will allow multi-location marketers to manage locations at scale with the help of multi-location martech companies such as Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext.
For years, Google, the Maps bellwether, has been transforming the app into the go-to destination for local discovery. Google also provides business owners, from SMBs to huge multi-location enterprises, the tools to manage their presence via Google Business Profile. Apple’s move represents its own effort to marry those two ideas.