Amazon knows you so well, they may even be able to read your mind. The Seattle-based retailer now has a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method that will allow the internet giant to dispatch items before customers even click “buy.” This would mean packages lie in waiting at the major shipping companies’ hubs, or on trucks until a confirmed order comes through their system.
The company would use a variety of factors to predict what customers want before they even know it themselves. Previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over a particular item will be taken into account.
Alongside other PR stunts such as unmanned drones, Amazon has been working to cut delivery times, expand its warehouse network, as well as provide overnight and same-day deliveries. While drone deliveries are unlikely to become a reality any time soon due to strict regulations, it’s much more likely that the company has enough data to know what you want to buy before you’ve even powered up your computer.
There are plenty of possibilities with the patent, all of which are yet to be seen, or as can sometimes be the case with Amazon, may already been in use. Some ideas that have been suggested include applying the “anticipatory delivery” to popular book or other items that customers want on the day they are released, and suggesting items already in transit to increase the likelihood of a purchase.