While Duplex is most known for calling on your behalf using a human-like voice to make appointments, the technology is also being used to speed up online interactions. Some Google Assistant users are now seeing Duplex on the Web help with “Fast checkout” when shopping.

Duplex is Google’s umbrella term for technology that handles tedious, multi-step tasks on a user’s behalf. Duplex on the Web first launched in late 2019 to handle buying movie tickets. Branded as “Google Assistant in Chrome,” you select a movie, the number of tickets, and seat directly in Assistant rather than the theatre website.

This year, Duplex on the Web expanded to helping you order food and automatically filling out payment details, as well as helping you change stolen passwords in Chrome. 

The expansion to restaurants was previously telegraphed in October of 2020, along with shopping. At the time, Google said it was currently “piloting” that experience for faster checkout. Websites have to sign up for Google Merchant Center and will be contacted by Search Console if assisted checkout is enabled.

Users are now seeing it in action, and we’ve been able to replicate it after visiting a retailer’s product listing from a Search result in the Google app for Android. Hot Topic is one such Duplex on the Web-compatible website, and you can test it out by searching: hot topic + [t-shirt]. 

After adding a product to your bag and proceeding to checkout, an Assistant panel will slide up saying it “can help you quickly checkout.” You have the option to disable entirely (in the overflow menu), “Skip” for this purchase, or proceed to “Fast checkout.”

If you’re using it for the first time, you have to “agree” to Google Assistant in Chrome and this “Fast checkout in just a few taps” capability. 

Assistant will next show your Contact info, Payment method, and Shipping address to confirm those details before it automatically enters them in for you line-by-line on the retailer’s site. This happens in real-time, with users able to see the process above. The final step is confirmation, though Assistant errored out in our testing by missing one field.

Google Assistant Fast checkout looks to currently be available in the US and UK.

Thanks, Tim

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