What Yext’s Integration with the Apple Business Connect API Means for Your Organization

By Yext

Jan 12, 2023

6 min

Effective immediately, Yext now integrates with Apple Business Connect. Apple Business Connect includes the new Business Connect API, which supports updates to the Apple Maps place card at scale and has several features designed to drive local engagement. When you consider the number of people who use Apple Maps on a daily basis, businesses leveraging the Business Connect API have new opportunities to attract new customers.

That's because the vast majority of customers (76%) search online for business information before going into a store, according to a recent study. For most businesses, that's where the customer journey begins — and too often, it's where costly mistakes are made.

Imagine this: a potential customer arrives at your store thinking your business is open because that's what they saw on Apple Maps, or what Siri told them while they were driving. However, that customer learns upon arrival that your business is actually closed for the day, and the information they saw online was outdated or straight-up wrong.

What happens next is inevitable: the frustrated consumer goes to another store, which leads to lost revenue and maybe even a lost customer forever – all because of an inaccurate business listing.

Ensuring consumers always see the most accurate and up-to-date information on (hundreds of) third-party sites is a constant challenge for all businesses. At Yext, we help businesses solve this problem with the largest publisher network of API integrations. Yext primarily uses direct API integrations, but at times will fall back to a submission style integration only when an API is not supported by the publisher.

With the launch of the new Apple Business Connect – which includes the Business Connect API – businesses now have a new and improved way to manage how their information appears in the Apple Maps place card and to more than a billion users across the Apple ecosystem.

What does this mean for businesses?

Businesses leveraging the new Business Connect API, which includes all current Yext Listings customers, can now make updates to their Apple Maps place cards at scale. With this upgrade, organizations can also further optimize their digital presence with Showcases, a social posting feature that allows businesses to highlight offers or promotions for specific locations in the Apple Maps place card.

Feel more confident with API integrations

API integrations give businesses more confidence in their data because they provide two-way communication — meaning they can not only send data in real time but also receive feedback from the publisher. To help conceptualize the benefit of having this two-way communication, imagine these two scenarios when ordering food from a restaurant:

Scenario #1: You call a restaurant but no one answers. Therefore, you leave a message saying you'd like to pick up 2 cheese pizza pies in 30 minutes.

Scenario #2: You call a restaurant and someone answers the phone. You place an order and the person on the phone confirms that your order of 2 cheese pizza pies will be ready for pickup in 30 minutes.

In this example, which scenario makes you more confident that your pizza will be ready in 30 minutes? You'd likely select scenario #2, because the restaurant not only confirmed that they received your order, but also provided the expected time to pick it up.

An API integration uses that same logic when delivering data to a third-party publisher, like Apple Maps. The publisher will provide confirmation as to whether or not they successfully received your data.

For the same reason that you chose scenario #2 when ordering pizza, businesses that receive confirmation from the publisher have more confidence that their listings will reflect the most accurate and up-to-date data — and that they can deliver their end customers all the information they need.

Using submissions is an effective way to update data on third-party publishers when an API is not supported — but businesses end up missing out on a few additional benefits that APIs provide.

API integrations provide businesses with more benefits – beyond just confirmations

On top of receiving confirmation that data was successfully delivered to the publisher, API integrations usually provide businesses with a number of additional benefits. These include:

1. More data. Typically, businesses are able to sync more data via API as opposed to any other data delivery method. For example, in addition to the standard Name, Address, and Phone Number, Apple Business Connect allows businesses to sync Payment Methods, Action Links, Gallery Photos, and more. When you consider profile completeness and the impact that has on search, syndicating the most amount of structured data to third-party publishers can give your brand a leg up over the competition. Our customer data certainly supports that claim. Businesses with the most complete listing profiles receive, on average, 62% more clicks from local search.*

2. Enhanced functionality. Publishers often support features and functionality that businesses can take advantage of to help their profiles stand out. For example, the Business Connect API supports the ability for businesses to post to their Apple Maps placecard. Showcases allow businesses to communicate updates and special offers to consumers on Apple Maps, which can also help improve their rank in search.

Click here to learn more about Showcases on Apple Maps from Yext.

3. Real-time updates. Your business isn't static — so your data shouldn't be either. Whether you need to update hours for the holidays, add new photos, or mark that your business is temporarily closed due to a natural disaster like a hurricane, API integrations allow businesses to update their data in real time.

4. Listing statuses. The listing status reflects the publisher's consumer-facing status. This gives information like whether or not the listing has been published or if the publisher is displaying all the information that it should be. Finally, businesses have visibility into whether any data issues are Yext-actionable, customer-actionable, or not actionable at all. (If the data issue is customer-actionable, Yext will provide clear steps for the business owner to resolve the issue).

5. Higher data precedence. Business data is constantly changing. Every day, millions of businesses either open, close down, or move locations. Not every business immediately informs each publisher upon any changes to their business, which forces sites like Apple Maps to collect data about businesses using a variety of sources. APIs are considered to be one of the most trustworthy sources because they allow businesses to update their data in real time. Therefore, publishers have more confidence that data received via API is the most fresh and up-to-date, resulting in a higher level of data precedence.

Why other listings vendors don’t primarily use API integrations

Given the additional benefits that API integrations provide over submissions, it's clear that businesses prefer to use API integrations whenever possible. That begs the question: why doesn't every listings vendor primarily use API integrations?

The answer is simple: it takes a lot of work. Most listings vendors don't have the resources to build API integrations with every publisher. That's why it's common to see listings vendors use API integrations for sites like Google, Facebook, Bing, and maybe a few others, but the vast majority of their network relies on aggregators and data submissions.

Yext has the most API integrations

Yext's Publisher Network of 200+ third-party sites, maps, apps, and directories consists of more API integrations than any other listings vendor – by a long shot. That's why we've been recognized by G2 for having the best Local Listing Management Software for the last 10 consecutive quarters.**

Yext's success and recognition is a direct result of its continuous investment in Listings. We have multiple teams across various geographies who are responsible for establishing relationships with publishers, building out new integrations, maintaining existing relationships, and expanding on added functionality – as it becomes available.

As a result, over the last 4 years we've added more than 100 publishers to its Publisher Network and more than 400 new fields. Ultimately, this allows businesses to sync the most complete set of structured data to the widest network of third-party experiences.

*Yext Customer Data, 2022

Interested in learning more? Read our full guide to Apple Business Connect or request a demo here.

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