Today, Apple is introducing Apple Business Connect, a free tool that allows businesses of all sizes to claim their location place cards and customize the way key information appears to more than a billion Apple users across Maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, and other apps.
“We created Business Connect to provide Apple 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.”
With Business Connect, businesses worldwide can now directly manage their information in the interactive Apple Maps place card, including adding and updating photos and logos, inviting customers to take actions like ordering food or making a reservation directly from Maps, and presenting customers with special promotions.
Showcases is a new feature in the place card, which helps businesses present customers with offers and incentives, like seasonal menu items, product discounts, and more.
Businesses can also provide customers with useful information by highlighting actions for them to take directly from the Maps place card, like ordering groceries via Instacart, making a hotel reservation through Booking.com, or reserving a spot for dinner with OpenTable, and more, with just a tap.
How to sign up to Apple Business Connect?
Business owners can use their existing Apple ID — or create a new Apple ID — to register for Business Connect at the self-service website from any desktop or laptop computer. Once a business has logged in, and Apple has verified their business, they can claim their location(s) and begin updating and personalizing their place card, all for free.
For businesses with many locations, Business Connect includes an API to easily deliver accurate, up-to-date information to Maps at scale through listing management agencies such as Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext.
According to Apple, Business Connect complements other services designed to help small businesses grow and reach customers, including Tap to Pay on iPhone and Business Essentials, a subscription that brings together device management, 24/7 support, and cloud storage.