Apple Maps is surfacing a new way for consumers to leave their feedback for local businesses. Consumers can now recommend local businesses by selecting a thumbs up. Alternatively, they may also leave a thumbs down if they have a negative experience with the business.
How Do Apple’s Reviews Differ From Other Local Review Sites?
The rating system differs from the traditional 1- to 5-star rating used by the majority of review sites and more closely aligns with popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Reddit’s method for rating for likes versus dislikes.
Instead of rating the business overall, Apple reviews allow users to also rate the products and services at the location. The simplicity of choosing between two buttons to rate the consumer’s experience with the brand is likely to encourage more users to leave reviews. It also significantly reduces the time it takes to leave a review for a business when compared to other popular local review sites such as Yelp or Google.
Additionally, users can also share photos to help others when rating a business within Apple Maps. Apple notes, “Maps uses your on-device location history and photo library to suggest contributions”.
As with other local review platforms, Apple will also work to combat spam reviews to ensure authenticity and credibility. Geolocation requirements will aid in preventing spam, and ratings and photos will be linked to users’ Apple ID to help with spam prevention.
Why Did Apple Move to a First-Party Reviews Solution?
Until recently, Apple relied on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare for reviews but is now undertaking this endeavor on their own. While Google still maintains a large market share in the mapping apps market, Apple Maps was close behind the number two contender, Waze, with 23.3 million unique monthly visitors. As Apple continues to gain traction with users, this surfaces the inevitable need to differentiate themself from other competitors. Apple has a long history of consistently improving the user experience across all its products and services, and its latest addition of reviews is a reflection of this.
Here is an example of the Apple Maps user interface today (prior to the iOS 14 public release), pulling in third-party reviews from Yelp:
Are Apple Reviews Available Now for all Users?
Apple reviews were included in the recent release of the sixth beta of iOS 14. The iOS 14 update is expected to be released this fall, according to current Bloomberg reports. Apple users can likely expect to see Apple reviews available once iOS 14 is released to the public, it is suspected Apple Maps ratings may replace other third-party review solutions completely.
How will Apple Reviews Impact Local Businesses?
Reputation management is a core component of any comprehensive local marketing strategy. With 97% of consumers searching online for local businesses, and 12% doing so on a regular basis, the need to monitor your brand’s online presence is now more essential than ever. Local businesses will need to refine their reputation management strategy. Apple Maps will be yet another platform users will turn to not only find your business but to rate it as well. For local businesses, this means Apple Maps will also now need to be monitored for customer sentiment.
While it is unclear if Apple Maps will allow a third-party solution to manage reviews across all your locations, a local marketing partner can help you manage reviews and review responses for other popular platforms such as Yelp and Google My Business. For a deeper dive into brand reputation management strategy, take a look at our free resource: Reputation Management Playbook: The 5-Step Plan for Successfully Managing Your Enterprise Brand’s Online Reputation.