In early September, Apple confirmed a beta test of native ratings and reviews with its iOS 14 release. Rather than scrape existing content from Yelp and TripAdvisor, Apple may eventually build up its own content within the Maps app, and leverage its own processes and technology to weed out fraudulent ratings and reviews.
We estimate that it will take years for this to fully catch on. Over the years, consumers have been conditioned to write reviews on other apps, like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, and local businesses may be slow to embrace yet another platform. It seems like a heavy lift even for a company like Apple, and it won’t all come together overnight. However, once it does… local businesses will need to get proactive in managing their online presence across Apple properties as well.
We’re more interested to see what happens with Apple’s Business Chat platform, and how that opens yet another avenue for consumers to connect with businesses of all types. People would rather message with businesses for a wide variety of reasons, and Apple’s platform looks like a promising tool to foster those connections.
Unlike ratings and reviews, Business Chat doesn’t just link to Apple Maps. Consumers can discover and opt-in to conversations with businesses they find on Safari, Spotlight, Siri, or Maps, to chat, schedule with, and pay businesses – using Apple Pay, of course. So, unlike Google My Business messaging, this platform is entirely dependent on the consumer using an Apple device.
“So what” for Local businesses? So far, it looks like a number of big brands have signed on to use Business Chat, but we’ll watch this closely. If it’s successful, and if consumers are catching on, it’ll only be a matter of time before Business Chat becomes an essential part of a local business owner’s toolkit. If you’re an interested local business, check it out and set up an account here.
If your business isn’t using messaging (any combination of text, web chat, or messaging on Facebook or Google My Business), you’re missing out on opportunities to connect and sell. We’ve talked about how messaging is becoming a preferred means of communication for consumers, and the right tool can drive more conversations for your business. We know this can seem overwhelming with more options like Apple’s Business Chat coming online . If you’re unsure where to start or how it might work for your business, we’d be happy to help. Click here to connect with our team.