Updated: Monday, 20 January 2014 14:10 | By Relaxnews

Amazon patents predictive pre-shipping

The company has developed a system that pre-emptively delivers goods to customer based on their previous purchases.

Amazon patents predictive pre-shipping

Amazon patents predictive pre-shipping

But that's just one factor detailed in the US patent awarded in December and first spotted by The Wall Street Journal.

In an attempt to significantly cut shipping and therefore waiting times, the system, which Amazon calls "anticipatory shipping," will also draw on other data such as answers to questionnaires, demographics and even wish lists to determine where products should be stored or pre-delivered in order to reach potential customers as quickly as humanly possible.

The patent application even details one scenario in which a product could be loaded onto a delivery truck that would do laps of specific geographical locations until someone in the vicinity clicks "buy".

And if no one does buy the product in question and the cost of returning it to a warehouse is greater than the cost of the item, Amazon would consider gifting it to someone who, according to company records, would really like it.

A great idea in theory but one that could lead to some rather embarrassing situations in practice as no one uses their Amazon account solely for personal shopping.

Amazon's global reach makes it the perfect platform for buying presents for friends and family in far-flung places. And any veteran Amazon user knows how gift-giving irrevocably changes the types of products the site automatically recommends or presumes you'll be interested in buying.


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