Apple Business Connect: A Simple (But Complete) Guide for Local Businesses

6 min read

Are you a small business owner looking for an effective way to increase your online presence, stay connected with customers, and make sure your brand stands out? If so, Apple Business Connect could be the perfect solution to reach the part of your audience who are Apple users.

 

As more people rely on technology solutions for their businesses, having a well-connected account is essential for success.

 

With this complete local business owners guide to Apple Business Connect, you'll learn about its new and exciting features — from controlling how people see your business to meeting customer needs with quick actions — as well as best practices on how to master it like a pro.

 

Ready? Let's get started!

 

What is Apple Business Connect?

Apple Business Connect is an easy-to-use platform that enables businesses to share key business information including their location, contact info, hours of operation, photos, and more — all in one place.

 

With this new feature, more than a billion Apple users can easily search for local stores or services near them and discover what they need quickly.

 

Additionally, it allows customers to rate their experiences at different locations so that other potential customers can make informed decisions when choosing where to go.

 

By taking advantage of Apple Business Connect, businesses have the opportunity to provide Apple users a better user experience with up-to-date information and ratings from past visitors that'll help you reach more customers than ever before.

 

Apple Business Connect welcome page where you can register your business and start engaging customers on maps and across Apple.

 

Apple Maps Revisited and Revamped

Apple Maps Connect was an initial offering that paled in comparison to its competition, Google Business Profile (GBP). It had a limited set of features and did not offer much utility for location-based businesses other than listing their business info so it could be found on Apple Maps.

 

Thankfully, the platform has evolved significantly and now offers many more tools that can benefit small businesses, as well as help consumers seamlessly engage with their digital storefronts.

As Apple's Senior Vice President of Services, Eddy Cue, said:

 

"We created Business Connect to provide Apple users around the world with the most accurate information for places to eat, shop, travel, and more. 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."

How to Claim Your Location in Apple Business Connect

Claiming your location in Apple Business Connect can help take your small business to the next level. It's one of the easiest ways to promote your establishment, deliver accurate information, and get your name out there to customers in the local area who use Apple devices and built-in apps.

 

1. Register your small business

 

The page where you can sign in to Apple Business Connect with the Apple ID you use for your business.

 

Head over to the Apple Business Connect page, click “Get Started”, and register using the same Apple ID you use for your business.

 

If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one before moving on to the next steps.

 

2. Add your business location

 

Step one of five to set up Apple Business Connect. Start by adding one of your locations.

 

Using the search bar, look up your business location’s name and select the relevant one that comes up.

 

In this example, we use a Baskin-Robbins in Los Altos, California. Once you see your business appear, select it.

 

Oh – if you have more than one business location, don’t worry. You can add more later!

 

3. Confirm your location’s address

 

Step two of five to set up Apple Business Connect. Confirm your location's address to guide customers to your door.

 

Make sure the following details are correct, and edit them if they aren’t:

 

  • Country/Region
  • Street
  • Unit, Suite, etc. (Optional)
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

 

You can even drag and drop the pin on the map to make sure it’s over your main entrance or enter the coordinates to be as accurate as possible.

 

4. Add details about your location

 

Step three of five to set up Apple Business Connect. Add some details about your local business location.

 

By default, you’ll see pre-filled information about your business location that already exists on Maps. However, you can specify your primary category if it’s inaccurate as well as add additional categories.

 

For example, if you own a board game café, you could set “Café” as the Primary Category and “Board Game Store” as an Additional Category.

 

And then, if you have one, add a link to your website.

 

5. Add your company details

 

Step four of five to set up Apple Business Connect. Add your company details.

 

Add your legal company name and address. If your company and location address are the same, tick off that box.

 

You can also enter your Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number. But if you don’t have one, no worries. Just tick off the box to confirm that you have the legal authority to agree on behalf of the Business and confirm that the Business agrees to the Terms of Service.

 

6. Verify your business

 

Step five of five to set up Apple Business Connect. Verify your local business through a phone call or by document review.

 

It’s time to get verified! You can choose a couple of options:

 

  1. Phone Call (Instant) – Get a call at the number of your business location.
  2. Document Review (Take Up to 5 Days) – Upload an official document for your business location.

 

Once you’ve verified the business on the phone or by using a lease, insurance policy, or utility bill, you can begin updating things like location info, Showcases, and photos.

 

How to Update Place Cards, Create Eye-Catching Showcases, and Add Engaging Actions

If you're an Apple Business Connect user, you can increase customer engagement and have the opportunity to make your presence much more meaningful. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you get started.

 

Place Cards: Customizing How Key Information Appears for Your Restaurant or Shop

 

Show off your local business's best features in the Place Card through the the Photos tab

 

Your Place Card represents the location(s) that customers find in many Apple apps, including Apple maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, and Calendar.

 

Be sure to keep it updated with details regarding your location and complement it with images and Showcases because your Place Card will be a true image of what physically exists at that address!

 

In your Place Card, your customers will be able to see information including, but not limited to:

 

  • Place Card header – An approved photo and approved logo together
  • Display name – The name of your business.
  • Categories: The type of business.
  • About – A brief section about your business and possibly this particular location.
  • Location info – The address, phone number, and hours of this location.
  • Website – The website for this business or specific location.
  • Call to action – Actions the user can take.
  • Showcase – Special offers and events.
  • Photos – Additional photos approved by Apple.
  • Good to know – Whether your location is or offers Wheelchair Accessibility, Street Parking, Parking Garage, Pets Welcome, Accepts Credit Cards, Contactless Payments, or Accepts Apple Pay.
  • Status – Whether the location is open, permanently, or temporarily closed.

 

Showcases: Highlighting Special Offers and Events

 

Highlight special offers and events for your local business by using Showcases in Apple Business Connect.

 

The newest feature from Apple Business Connect is a module called Showcases. It’s an incredibly useful tool for any business.

 

It allows you to highlight exclusive promotions, special events, new items, and a call-to-action that you’d like users to click on.

 

Showcases are a fantastic way to showcase something new related to your business location(s), ensuring that customers keep coming back. Each Showcase will remain active for 30 days after its initial launch.

 

You can also schedule Showcases in advance so that potential customers are always seeing something new each month!

 

But be sure to schedule your desired Showcases at least three days before you want them to go live because they need to be approved. (And don’t edit a Showcase while it’s in review because its approval could be delayed further.)

 

Actions: Make Your Showcases Click-Worthy

 

A preview of the different types of Apple Business Connect quick actions you can choose to add to your Showcases.

 

Do you know the best way to get customers to do something? Ask!

 

By adding a call to action to a Showcase, you can increase users’ likelihood to interact with your business in Apple Maps in the best way you know your local business can!

 

These include:

 

  • Call now
  • Get directions
  • Website
  • Share this place
  • Add to favorites
  • Recommend this place

 

Place Cards also allow you to use personalized Actions that take customers directly into your website, app, or credible third parties like OpenTable, Booking.com, Instacart and more! This gives customers a seamless experience that is both rewarding and hassle-free.

 

Insights: See How People Are Finding Your Business

 

Make your data work for you with Apple Business Connect by using the Insights tab.

 

You’re happy when people find your local business. But sometimes you’re left wondering, How did they actually find it?

 

Insights helps give you a deeper understanding of how people discover your business and what their next steps are!

 

Customer insights are pulled from information such as searches, views, and actions linked to your local business within Apple Maps.

 

Apple Business Connect API for Enterprises

 

Apple Business Connect is also available for Enterprises with 25 or more locations and third-party partners who deliver location listings.

 

Similarly to GBP, Apple Business Connect provides owners with multiple business listings the opportunity to claim their location place cards and personalize certain information that appears on over a billion Apple users across Maps, Messages, Wallet, and Siri users, as well as other applications.

 

Now, with Apple's Business Connect API functionality, companies that span 25 or more locations under the same brand can better manage their listings.

 

But for now, the API is only accessible through a few select listing management platforms: DAC Group, Rio SEO, SOCi Uberall, Yext, and Reputation customers.

 

With the new features — like scheduling, ordering, and Showcases — you have the power to make business profiles more interactive while also providing transactional capacity.

 

Apple is also pushing business messaging as a core component of the bundle. There's an improved dashboard for businesses, which now includes metrics such as keywords, user location, and "taps".

 

Furthermore, any changes to listings are implemented more quickly than before.

 

Put your business on the map with Apple Business Connect

 

Preview of the Insights dashboard that local business owners can access through Apple Business Connect.

 

All in all, Apple Business Connect is an invaluable tool for small business owners by providing greater simplicity and streamlined control over the management of their place cards as well as increased opportunities for business growth.

 

From organizing reviews to creating digital Showcases, it has made the road to success much easier. And don't forget! With customizable messages, businesses can take their reach to the next level and connect better with their customers. Best of all, this is a free tool!

 

Utilizing Apple Business Connect can help you successfully manage your place card, leverage Showcases to create the best up-to-date customer experience, and ensure consumers engage with your map app location on your terms.

 

So why wait? Start taking advantage of these great tools today.

 

And when you're done setting up Apple Business Connect, you can see just how easy it is to set up Google Business Profile!