And, when you sat up to get your phone to order, there was actually what you wanted, already on your coffee table. A steaming hot order of Chinese food which materialized simply from your thoughts?
No, that's never happened, because that's not how the world works. But it's how Amazon wants the future to be, and it starts with their new project, dubbed 'anticipatory package shipping.' From The Wall Street Journal:
The Seattle retailer in December gaineda patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.”
Basically, it uses past behaviors to try and predict what you may purchase next.
The technique could cut delivery time and discourage consumers from visiting physical stores. In the patent document, Amazon says delays between ordering and receiving purchases “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants.” So Amazon says it may box and ship products it expects customers in a specific area will want – based on previous orders and other factors — but haven’t yet ordered. According to the patent, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs or on trucks until an order arrives.
And what past behaviors will the online behemouth use to predict what you may do? Just about everything.
In deciding what to ship, Amazon said it may consider previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.
Big Data FTW. Now, about that Chinese food.
[H/T The Daily Dot]