Amazon recently received a patent for “anticipatory shipping.”
“Anticipatory Shipping” means Amazon will predict which items a customer is likely to buy and mail packages before the check-out process is complete.
Amazon already knows a great deal about its customers. It will also use a number of signals to predict buying behaviour, such order history, search history, shopping cart items and length of time spent on its pages.
In the patent document, Amazon says delays between ordering and receiving purchases “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants.”
So Amazon says it may box and ship products it expects customers in a specific area will want — based on previous orders and other factors — but haven’t yet ordered. According to the patent, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs or on trucks until an order arrives.
This isn’t Amazon’s first innovative way to speed up the delivery process. Late last year, its CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon was experimenting with drone delivery services to get items to customers 30 minutes.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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