Most tests for new Google products happen in the U.S. or other North American markets. This testing strategy makes sense given the size and huge diversity of the American market. However, Google is a global company, with teams around the world working on the next big thing for search and online marketing. Recently, Google announced that it would expand it’s Duplex testing to New Zealand, which indicates the product’s features are getting closer to an official rollout.
During the holiday season, many stores modify their hours to reflect seasonal changes to consumer behavior. A business may close early the day before Thanksgiving, only to open extremely early on Black Friday. While these hour shifts are supposed to benefit the customer, it can be frustrating to them when a business isn’t open when expected. With the Duplex system, business owners can use a phone system from Google automatically set up holiday hours. This system is what’s being tested internationally in New Zealand.
“Businesses in this pilot group will receive an automated call from Google asking to confirm their hours for the upcoming Labour Day public holiday on October 28,” explained Scott Huffman, Google’s VP of engineering, in a blog post. “Once confirmed, these times will automatically be updated on Google Maps and Search for anyone searching for the business info for the holiday.”
If the system works as expected., it will make it significantly easier for companies to manage their holiday hours across all of their Google-related profiles and platforms. Users in the pilot program will receive an automated call from Google where they’ll get the chance to handle these hour changes in one shot. It reduces the chance that people will miss out on chance to visit a store during extended hours or if come too late when a location closes early for the holidays.
Duplex technology was first teased by Google in 2018, but the system has yet to reach the level of usefulness that was predicted. Besides the test in New Zealand, Google is also testing certain Duplex features in the US.
For example, restaurants In the U.S. can take advantage of an automated restaurant reservation-booking system that has already received a wider release. On the Google Assistant in Chrome, Duplex is also being tested on movie ticket booking sites. And though tests haven’t been formally announced yet, it’s believed that functions such as car rentals and haircut scheduling will become options available in the future.
While Duplex technology from Google is getting a slow start, the testing in New Zealand shows the company is still supporting the tech, and that it may be integrated officially into Google products sometime soon. The various ways that Duplex is being used shows the versatility of the technology and how it can help marketers accomplish more from their services on Google platforms.
For more recent news about changes and updates to Google, read this article on new features for Google Ads.