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Transportation Businesses Patents

Amazon: We Can Ship Items Before Customers Order 243

Posted by timothy
from the attn-estate-of-philip-k-dick dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The WSJ is reporting that Amazon has obtained a patent for 'anticipatory shipping,'' and claims it knows its customers so well it can start shipping even before orders are placed. 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.' Of course, Amazon's algorithms might sometimes err, prompting costly returns. To minimize those costs, Amazon said it might consider giving customers discounts, or convert the unwanted delivery into a gift. 'Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill,' the patent said. Considering the problems that can arise when shipping something a customer did not order anticipatory shipping has the potential to backfire faster than an Amazon drone can deliver."
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Amazon: We Can Ship Items Before Customers Order

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  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @04:28PM (#46007291)
    Tell Amazon that while smoking weed might be great, but that the ideas you get while baked aren't often that good.

    Dood! Like wouldn't it be like awesome if we could like invent this like really cool time machine and like go to the future to see like what people have bought, and then like go back to when these people like sat down at their computers to think about buying something, and like it shows up right then! They'll like think its like magic!

    Dood! that's frikken awesome! Now where's my goddamn Fritos!

  • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @04:36PM (#46007361) Homepage Journal

    So lets put some bulky, heavy things in our shopping carts and on our wish lists and really mess with Bezos for a few weeks.

  • by temcat (873475) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:02PM (#46007515)

    It's the same thing we've been doing in computers since, erm... the 80286 days.

    Refreshingly, at this time, the novelty will be in the fact that it is NOT on the computer!

  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:38AM (#46011399)
    In a small french town (I don't remember which one, the story appeared in the newspaper about forty years ago) a bookstore owner had the habit of sending by mail books to people living close to his store. The book was accompanied by a note saying: "For evaluation. If not interested please return".
    A contractor was very annoyed by this, so one night he poured a ton of gravel in front of the bookstore, and he put a sign on the top of it saying: "For evaluation. If not interested please return.".

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw