Notable update to Apple Maps allows for addition of detailed business listings, photos, buttons and promotions across Apple ecosystem
Apple has on Wednesday delivered a notable update to Apple Maps to encourage its use beyond just directions and navigation.
The iPhone maker announced a new web portal called ‘Apple Business Connect’, which will allow business owners to update and manage their own information across Apple Maps and the Apple ecosystem.
This could include for example key details such as business hours and location, photos, logos, special offers, promotions, and other features such as being able to order a coffee, or book a hotel room.
Apple Business Connect
The move is a clear attempt by Apple to pose a challenge to the likes of Google Maps and Waze.
Google Maps for example already has existing tools to allow businesses to edit and add information to their profiles.
Apple opted to make the ‘Apple Business Connect’ portal free to use, so businesses of all sizes can “customise the way their information appears across Apple apps.”
Apple said that any business can claim their location place cards and customise 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 VP 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,” said Cue.
Essentially with Apple 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.
Apple said that Showcases, a new feature in the place card, helps businesses present customers with offers and incentives, like seasonal menu items, product discounts, and more.
It added that businesses can easily update the Showcase section of their place card through Business Connect.
The additional map information will also be used in Siri and other Apple software.
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 certain actions for them to take directly from the Maps place card.
This can include 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.
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.