The sad thing is, Amazon probably can read our minds. But that doesn’t mean they should tell us that! And yes, they’re not exactly saying they can read our minds. Instead, Amazon is claiming they can guess what you’ll buy based on previous purchases and other items you’ve viewed. This is probably true, but to go and get a patent for “anticipatory shipping”? That’s some 1984 craziness right there.
Basically, this patent allows Amazon to ship items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes the item will sell, thus cutting delivery times and putting the online vendor on par with brick-and-mortar counterparts.
And, Amazon wants to box and ship products it expects customers to buy based on previous searches and purchases, wish lists and how long the user’s cursor hovers over an item. SO WATCH YOUR CURSORS VERY CAREFULLY. Or you might find Amazon thinks you want that rainbow snuggie. And trust me when I say that Amazon will judge you (as will I). Here’s the crazy part: Amazon might even load those “anticipatory” products onto trucks and have them “speculatively shipped to a physical address” without having a full addressee. What does that even mean? I didn’t even want that Pokemon 3DS game! Okay, yes I did. Damn you, Amazon.
But couldn’t Amazon end up losing money on unwanted deliveries and returns? Amazon seems pretty confident they can handle it. They stated in the patent, “delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill.” We’re not sure if and when Amazon plans on starting this “anticipatory shipping” but considering they’re looking into Sunday shipping and DRONES, nothing seems out of reach for this company.