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Introducing Apple Business Connect

The free tool allows businesses of all sizes to customize the way their information appears across Apple apps

Apple today introduced 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 Apple 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.”

Improving Customer Engagement in Apple Maps

With Business Connect, businesses around the world 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, a new feature in the place card, helps businesses present customers with offers and incentives, like seasonal menu items, product discounts, and more. Businesses can easily update the Showcase section of their place card through Business Connect. Showcases are available to businesses in the US beginning today, and will be available to businesses globally in coming months.
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.
Introducing Apple Business Connect - Apple

Registering for 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 Business Connect 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.
Use Apple Business Connect to Put Your Business on the Map - The Mac Observer

Apple Tools for Small Businesses

Apple designed Business Connect with small businesses in mind, offering them the same access and ability to customize their digital presence as global brands. Business Connect complements other Apple services designed to help small businesses grow and reach customers, including Tap to Pay on iPhone — which enables businesses to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — and Business Essentials, a subscription that brings together device management, 24/7 support, and cloud storage.
Apple launches business tools for small businesses

Dive Insight:

Apple is upping its efforts to deliver stronger advertising capabilities to marketers, with its latest addition offering more control over how basic information like store hours, deals and location details is presented to consumers across its iOS platform, most notably within Maps.

To use the tool, business owners must register through the Business Connect website using either an existing Apple ID or by creating a new one. Once registered and verified by Apple, owners can personalize their Apple Maps place card with photos, logos and basic information for free. Businesses can also use the new tools to connect with booking, ordering, and delivery services, enabling customers to transact directly from Apple Maps. A new feature, called Showcases, lets businesses provide consumers with offers and incentives, such as seasonal menu items and product discounts. The feature is available in the U.S. and will roll out globally in the coming weeks.

The functionality of Apple Maps has historically lagged behind those offered through Google. The latest update could help the company catch up while offering a stronger appeal to brands. Accordingly, Apple has worked with partners like Yext, SOCi and Rio SEO to integrate Apple Business Connect’s API to their platforms to emphasize seamless updating capabilities — an asset that could prove critical.

“From our own research, we’ve found 84% of U.S. consumers say they use Apple Maps to search for business information,” said Joel Headley, vice president of product management at Rio SEO, in a release, also noting that 20% of consumers say they will not visit a business with incorrect or missing information.

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