Apple’s Maps App Updates Boost Small Biz

Date: June 12, 2015

New features on the Apple application could bring more customers in the door. Here’s what small businesses need to know.

Apple is making it easier for customers to find your business.

At its annual developer conference, Apple rolled out upcoming updates to its Maps application—including many that could benefit small businesses. Because about 42 million people in the U.S. use Apple’s Maps app, any improvements to the once-shoddy application presents a big opportunity for small retailers to expand their customer base.

Here are a few planned updates that affect the small biz community:

  • Apple is adding public transit information for 10 cities worldwide, plus 300 in China.  
  • It is adding an icon in the Maps app that indicates if a business that appears in search results accepts payment from Apple Pay. As customers continue to transition to mobile-payment options, this is a chance to acquire new businesses from Apple Pay users.
  • The update will enable users to search the Maps app by storefront type, like food or drink. This could get more feet in the door from customers that don’t necessarily have a specific type of food or item in mind prior to making a search.
  • Apple Maps will be available on Android soon, TechRadar says, which would increase the number of its users.
  • Maps Connect is Apple’s self-service portal that allows small businesses to add or edit local business listings. It is intended for small business owners to be able to easily add content, like business name, phone number, address and location, directly into the Maps app. Apple announced it will update the Maps Connect tool to include more major cities and listings for even smaller organizations.

While Apple Maps lags behind Google’s Maps application, it still has a strong enough user base that small businesses should not ignore. TechRadar declared that Apple’s new Maps features are a victory for small businesses. “If you’re a small business with a dedicated marketing team focused on search and web-based listings, you can’t allow Apple’s Maps stumbles to turn you away from the application,” the site reported.

Apple will add the new Maps updates on iOS 9 and OSX 10.11 later this year.

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