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Amazon gain patent allowing it to ship goods before you order them

The patent would allow Amazon to deliver goods it believes you will order based on your shopping and search history.

A worker selecting goods from racks in the Amazon fulfillment center in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
A worker selecting goods from racks in the Amazon fulfillment center in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AMAZON HAS GAINED a patent which could allow it to deliver goods to customers before they’re even ordered.

The patent, which is called “Method and system for anticipatory package shipping,” would allow Amazon to box and ship goods it expects customers in an area will want but have yet to order.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the idea would help cut down delivery times and give people less reason to visit physical stores.

This system would be based on previous orders, but it could take into consideration factors such as product searches, shopping-cart contents, wish lists, returns and the length of time customers spend on a page.

Instead of delivering it directly to your house, Amazon would box and deliver goods it expects people to order to a nearby shipping hub or on trucks. When an order does arrive, it can then deliver it to the address specified.

The company may use the system to fill out partial street addresses to get items closer to where customers need them. In the patent, it says:

For example, a package without addressee information may be speculatively shipped to a physical address of a residential or commercial building… it is also contemplated that a package may be speculatively shipped to a particular addressee whose physical address is not known at the time of shipping.

Amazon hit headlines in December when it claimed it was working on developing drones to help deliver packages in under 30 minutes.

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