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Brief Published: 30 Jan 2014

Amazon Plans Anticipatory Deliveries

Amazon Deliveries

US-based e-tailer Amazon has created a media buzz by filing a patent for ‘anticipatory shipping’ – a delivery method based on predictive analytics that would help the company to become more logistically efficient.

The proposed method uses a customers’ current online buying or browsing preference data to anticipate product needs, which it is then able to aggregate with other shoppers in that area. The benefit for the consumer is a reduced delivery time, which further diminishes the need to visit a physical store – encouraging repeat visits to the site.

The patent specifies a forecasting method where items are packaged for an eventual geographical area, but without the complete delivery address at the time of initial shipment. Only once the package is in transit (and the item is paid for) will the final address be specified. Items that are not paid for will remain in local hubs.

The anticipated needs of consumers are drawn from standard behavioural data such as time spent on a web page, wishlists, repeat order history, and so on.

Data tracking is a standard tool for e-commerce brands trialing their consumers. But it is also being embraced by shrewd brands with investments in bricks-and-mortar as a way of examining the full loop of digital-physical behaviour, and enhancing the shopping experience. For more on this, see Data Tracking & Response Monitoring in the Future of the Store Industry Trend.