Google Starts Testing SMS-Based Alerts for Shopping Deals

Google is currently testing a SMS-based alert service aimed to keep users updated about holiday deals on products like smartphones, gaming consoles and more. The service is limited to the US for now, and falls into three categories – Black Friday Deals, Cyber Monday Deals, and Holiday Deals.

Spotted by a blog named Google Operating System (via TechCrunch), the advertisement search results to subscribe to Black Friday deals popped up on top of the Google search results when the blog searched for ‘Moto X Play’ on mobile. Other search queries, like Black Friday Deals, also show up the same search result. Once users click on the ad to subscribe to the service, they are asked to message ‘JOIN’ to the relevant phone number (depending on if they want to subscribe to Black Friday Deals, Cyber Monday Deals, or Holiday Deals). Users are notified by Google that their personal contact number would not be shared, and that users can opt out of the service any time they want.

On subscribing, Google would send users offers and deals from participating retailers spanning across several popular holiday shopping categories on computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and more.

To be noted is that the alert service was in fact announced by Google two weeks ago on a AdWord Google+ post. “To help ease shopping-induced holidaze, we’re testing a new ad format that conveniently delivers the latest brand offers and updates straight to consumers’ phones via text messages. People can click to subscribe to a Google service that tailors promotional messages to products they’re interested in. After subscribing, their phone numbers will remain private and they have the option to opt out of receiving messages at any time,” said the post.

As Google explains it, the ‘deals alerts’ service it is testing are essentially an AdWords option currently supported by limited advertisers. It did not reveal any information on the ad pricing or on how many participating advertisers are there for the service for now.

Google says users don’t have to wait for the AdWord option to pop-up in the search results as they can directly text ‘JOIN’ to the numbers provided by Google on its AdWord Google+post to check out Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday Deals.

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