Friday 24 January 2014

Amazon Anticipatory Shipping, before you order...

                                                                   pic: Retail Wire
Following their Christmas drone-delivery idea, Amazon gained a patent last month for what it calls "anticipatory shipping,'' the Wall Street Journal reports.

Amazon, the Journal reported, says it may box and ship products that it expects customers in a specific area will want, based on previous orders and other factors it gleans from its customers' shopping patterns, even before they place an online order.

Among those other factors: previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping cart contents, returns and other online shopping practices.

Once in transit, the packages would theoretically wait at the shippers' or Amazon's warehouse hubs or on trucks until (and if) an order arrives. In some cases, partial street addresses or zip codes will be filled out with the remaining pertinent details — name, rest of address — completed once the order arrives.

Amazon has worked to cut delivery times as a way of encouraging more orders and satisfying customers, such as by expanding its warehouse network and making some overnight and even same-day deliveries.

Amazon didn't estimate how much delivery time it expects to save, or whether it has already put its new system to work, but the initiative clearly provides a new hurdle for those who regard Amazon as competition – and anyone who thinks that they are in the game by simply setting up an online service…

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