In 2012, YouTube comedy group The Bilderbergers released a popular animated sketch called “Amazon Yesterday Shipping,” an extended joke about Amazon.com delivering the things you want before you even order them. And while Amazon still hasn’t perfected time travel, the company now owns a patent for “anticipatory package shipping,” a system that predicts what you’ll order and sends it to an Amazon facility near you, rerouting it to your address as soon as you click to pay.
Amazon.com knows you so well it wants to ship your next package before you order it. The Seattle retailer in December gained a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.” 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.” So Amazon says it may box and ship products it expects customers in a specific area will want – based on previous orders and other factors — but haven’t yet ordered. According to the patent, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs or on trucks until an order arrives.
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