The announcement of Apple Business Connect sparked a slew of companies announcing integrations with the tool that allows businesses to claim 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.
Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext are the first companies to integrate with Apple Business Connect. Previously, there was no API for multi-location brands.
The new capabilities include scheduling, ordering and Showcase, and are all aimed at making business profiles engaging and transactional. Apple also promoted business messaging as part of the announcement.
Apple products such as Maps have become more desirable, Rio SEO research found 84% of U.S. consumers say they use Apple Maps to search for business information.
Joel Headley, vice president of product management, Rio SEO, says the data shows that one-fifth of local consumers are unlikely to visit a business with incorrect or missing business information.
Several influential brands -- including McDonald’s, Panera, Benefit Cosmetics, and IHG -- have collaborated with Yext to test the integration in advance of the official release. These customers recognized multiple benefits throughout the trial period, but cited data accuracy and operational efficiency as selling points for organizations with large location footprints.
IHG Hotels & Resorts optimized more than 6,000 global hotel listings, providing guests with a more seamless and personalized hotel booking experience.
The hotel chain said it is also using Showcases to highlight benefits of the new IHG One Rewards program and mobile app, which launched earlier this year.
Working with Uberall, Mark McMahon, director of SEO at AutoNation, believes it enables the company to optimize dealer place cards in Apple Maps.
Apple also introduced Showcases, a feature that allows businesses to present customers with offers and incentives in the Apple Maps place card. Uberall customers can create, preview and post a Showcase using the same, publishing workflow they use for other content publishing in the Uberall CoreX platform.