Amazon says it can ship items before customers order

by William M. Welch, USA TODAY

alt

Employees select and dispatch items in the huge Amazon warehouse in Peterborough, England, in this November 2013 photo. The online retailer has obtained a patent for "anticipatory shipping'' and says it has means to predict orders before they are placed. (Photo: Oli Scarff, Getty Images)


Online retail giant Amazon says it knows its customers so well it can start shipping even before orders are placed.

The Seattle-based company, which late last year said it wants to use drones to speed package delivery, 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.

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, the Journal reported.

"It appears Amazon is taking advantage of their copious data," Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst, told the Journal. "Based on all the things they know about their customers they could predict demand based on a variety of factors."

To minimize the cost of unwanted returns, Amazon said it might consider giving customers discounts or even make the delivered item a gift.

"Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill," the patent said.



More Local

Department of revenue Chief shares info on tax fraud crackdowns

The Georgia Department of Revenue saved Georgia taxpayers over $33 million in fraudulent tax returns in 2014, according to Revenue Commissio ... Read More


Trammell discusses General Assembly

Rep. Bob Trammell spoke about his first session as a member of the Georgia General Assembly at a meeting of the Coweta County Democratic Par ... Read More


Behavioral hospital CON process crux of court hearing

It was standing room only at the beginning of Wednesday’s hearing regarding the future of the proposed behavioral health hospital in N ... Read More


Relay for Life gets boost from local schools

The Coweta County School System (CCSS) has been a longtime supporter of Coweta County’s Relay for Life (RFL), and its schools are some ... Read More


armed robbery

Suspected gang member, shooting victim pleads guilty

This week, a local gang member pleaded guilty to an armed robbery he committed only a few months after he was the victim of a violent assaul ... Read More

Raise the Praise coming Saturday

Raise the Praise, Coweta!, a Christian music festival, will be held Saturday at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. The Newnan Kiwanis Club is sp ... Read More