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How to start using Apple Business Connect
For years, Google has offered business owners the free option of claiming valuable real estate next to the search results. They could claim their My Business “cards,” which would appear when people searched for them. Those cards would contain rich snippets, such as their contact details, bio, photos, link on Google Maps, product catalog, links to social media, and much more. But until now, Apple has not offered its own version. Now they have, in the form of Apple Business Connect. Here’s how to set it up and how it compares to Google’s offering.
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To get started with Apple Business Connect, go to the application page and fill out the application. You must provide a business address that can be found on Apple Maps (no post boxes allowed.) You must also provide documentary proof that the business is at that address in the form of a utility bill or rental agreement. Apple will then decide if your business qualifies for inclusion. If you're rejected, you can tweak the application and keep trying.
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What is Apple Business Connect?
Apple Business Connect is a new Apple feature designed to help businesses of all sizes connect with customers more innovatively. They can better leverage Apple’s technology to gain an edge over their competitors who are not using it. It is more or less Apple’s version of Google My Business, which gives businesses better visibility and more real estate in Google search results.
The only difference is, of course, that Apple does not have a search engine of its own. Instead, Apple Business Connect provides that extra online visibility in the form of Apple Maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, Apple Pay, and more. Businesses can customize the way they appear in those apps, as well as specify what information people should see.
- Apple Maps – give customers driving directions to your business.
- Showcases – show your current special offers and deals.
- Messages – you can receive iMessage conversations from customers with a ‘chat’ button.
- Apple Pay – customers can order directly from your website using Apple Pay.
Another important feature is helping businesses better understand their customers. They can use Apple’s powerful analytics tools to track customer behavior and gain insights into what their customers want and need. This information can then be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns and to improve the overall customer experience.
Apple Business Connect is in its very early stages, so some features may not yet be available in all parts of the world.
How to set up Apple Business Connect
First, start by entering your business name. It may already be on Apple Maps, which would make things much easier. But if your business name is not found, you can create a new Apple Maps listing.
Next, you’ll be asked, based on your business address, to place the red pin exactly on your map location. If it helps, you can enter exact map coordinates to get you to the location more precisely.
You will now be asked for important business information, such as:
- your business category.
- business phone number.
- opening hours and days.
- website address.
You will then be asked to upload a document proving that the business is at this address and that you manage it. This can be in the form of a utility bill, rental agreement, or business license. It must have the name and address of your business clearly on it.
Once you have uploaded the document, your application will then go into review. Until then, you can’t upload anything else, such as a banner, logo, other photos, and so on.
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As of January 2023, Apple does not charge for the service. This may change in the future.
Yes, however, there’s no guarantee that every feature will be available in every country.
The business must have a street address which is easily found on Apple Maps. This rules out many post boxes, which are usually located inside a post office or post depot.