Amazon's 'anticipatory shipping' will send packages before you click buy
18th Jan 2014 | 15:04
"You order this, mate? No? Want it anyway?"
If you thought the drone delivery system wasn't quirky enough, Amazon is now planning to send customers shipments of items they haven't even bought yet, judging by a recently published patent application.
The online retailer's "anticipatory shipping" plans would see customers receive items before they've clicked the buy button, based on their dwell time, visits to a listing, previous purchase habits and other metrics.
The idea would be to completely cut out the shipment times and dissuade customers who've been viewing items on Amazon to simply go out and buy it at a physical retailer.
Although that would likely lead to plenty of confusion and lots of returns, Amazon appears ready to take the chance the customer won't say no to the Xbox One he's been procrastinating when it arrives at his door.
"Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill," the patent states, although that's unlikely to include high value goods.
Also part of the plan is the idea that shipping times could be cut by delivering items in bulk to half way houses in areas the company knows the item will be popular.
So there you have it. Amazon thinks it knows what you want before you do and is prepared to make a bet on it.
- It just so happened, this morning we published an in depth report on how Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are making our online choices for us. How timely!