Google Assistant in Chrome testing Duplex to help users buy movie tickets

The Assistant’s transaction-handling abilities take a step forward.

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Duplex, Google’s automated concierge feature, has made its way to Chrome browsers. The company has confirmed that the test is currently being applied to movie ticket booking sites as part of Google Assistant in Chrome, Android Police first reported.

Screen Shot 2019 10 01 At 10.14.15 AM
Google Assistant in Chrome handling a movie ticket purchase. Source: Android Police.

Why we should care

Google is already testing ads in Assistant, but handling transactions looks to be a key part of its monetization strategy for the virtual assistant. The ability to book movie tickets, and presumably eventually other things such as car rentals, may get more people to engage with the Assistant, bringing more users into Google’s ecosystem and presenting the company with more revenue opportunities.

This technology may also play into Google’s broader e-commerce strategy. By streamlining shopping on Assistant-enabled devices, the company may be able to make more headway in the retail sector.

More on the news

  • After selecting a movie showtime from the search results, Duplex is indicated by the “Buy tickets” button accompanied by the Assistant logo. It is working for chains and sites owned by AMC and Fandango, said Android Police.
  • When buying tickets with Duplex, the user is taken to the vendor’s website with a persistent Google Assistant overlay that automatically fills in payment information. Users still have to interact with the site to do things like select seats.
  • Duplex was first announced at Google I/O in May 2018, where the company showed a demo of it booking a haircut and handling a complex restaurant reservation.
  • Duplex’s over-the-phone restaurant reservation capabilities began rolling out to Pixel users in March.

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About the author

George Nguyen
George Nguyen is the Director of SEO Editorial at Wix, where he manages the Wix SEO Learning Hub. His career is focused on disseminating best practices and reducing misinformation in search. George formerly served as an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic and paid search.

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