Amazon has developed several innovative practices which have been widely adopted and have become part and parcel of the online buying experience. Its latest innovation, for which it has also secured a patent, takes the cake. The company recently patented a new shipping process and they are calling it ‘anticipatory shipping’.
Consider that you want to buy an iPod from Amazon. You key in the details on Amazon’s website, make the payment and the next day, the order is at your doorstep. Sounds amazing, does it not?
More on the anticipatory shipping process
Amazon intends to send products to fulfilment centers near where customers are most likely to buy them, before he/she has even ordered them. What it means is that the item will already be ready for delivery at the facility closest to you. When you eventually place your order, Amazon will just put your name and address on the package and ship it to you.
In simple words, Amazon has developed a speculative order and shipment system, which sends goods to certain geographical areas, in anticipation of future orders.
The benefits of the process
The benefits of such a system are many. Amazon will be able to cut down delivery time drastically. The company is already developing drone technology (Amazon Prime Air) for quick order fulfilment, but it will be some years before that becomes operational.
Note that Amazon will not ship items beforehand, if there is no clear demand. Amazon will first assess the demand by analyzing previous orders from the customer, wish lists, product searches, data from shopping carts and more. Initially, the service might be limited to high volume customers.
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