Apple has launched Business Connect, a new feature that increases its advertising capabilities. The free tool allows businesses to customize how their information appears across Apple apps, including Apple Maps, Wallet, Siri and Messages.
With the help of Business Connect, big and large businesses can change how key information looks online, from basic information like working hours and location details to more specific elements such as adding and editing photos. More importantly, Business Connect can connect with booking, ordering and delivery services, allowing customers to transact directly via Apple Maps.
“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,” stated Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services in an official blog post.
In addition to Business Connect, another feature in Apple Maps place cards titled “Showcases” allows businesses to present customers with special offers such as product discounts and limited-edition menu items. Showcases is currently available in the U.S., but will be available globally in the coming weeks.
To activate Business Connect, business owners can use an existing Apple ID (or create a new Apple ID) to register for the new feature. Once a business has been verified by Apple, it can begin customizing its Apple place card.
To further put Business Connect in the spotlight, Apple has teamed up with management agencies such as Reputation, Uberall, Yext and Rio SEO integrating Business Connect into their platforms. Yext has tested the released feature in advance with big companies like Panera Bread, McDonald’s and IHG Hotels & Resorts. According to the testing period, the companies were satisfied with the efficiency and accuracy of the new tools.
Launching Business Connect will surely bolster advertising opportunities with both big and small businesses and could even finally put Apple Maps on par with Google Maps.