Apple has announced a new Business Connect tool for Apple Maps to make it easier for users to buy tickets, book hotel rooms, and make dinner reservations.
Business Connect is aimed at bringing physical businesses more ways to connect with customers digitally through Apple Maps. Some of the examples Apple shares are making a dinner reservation at a restaurant through Open Table or reserving tickets to an upcoming show at a venue.
Apple is making the new service available to businesses in the United States starting today. It will roll out support for businesses across the globe “in the coming months.” Businesses have full control over key information that appears in several Apple apps, including Messages, Wallet, Siri, and Maps.
“We created Business Connect to provide Apple users around the world with the most accurate information for places to eat, shop, travel, and more,” says Apple Services Chief, Eddy Cue. “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.”
The new feature also offers some proactive business generating tools–like offering nearby customers a discount for coming in. Live music venues can register with Business Connect to keep their schedule and ticket availability up to date across a wide variety of Apple services.
Business owners can use their existing Apple ID or create a new one to register for the service. Once verified, business owners can use the self-service website to claim their locations and begin updating and personalizing their business place cards—all for free. For businesses with many locations, the new feature also includes an API to make it easier to deliver up-to-date information to Maps at scale through listing management agencies like Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext.