Amazon has a patent to a system called ‘anticipatory shipping’ where e-commerce behemoth will predict, pack and ship the products that are expected to be bought soon by its customers.
Soon, the 1-day delivery or even a 30-minute delivery will become passe for your e-commerce purchases, as Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is working on sending the product to you even before you place the online order. Amazon has a patent to a system called ‘anticipatory shipping’ where e-commerce behemoth will predict, pack and ship the products that are expected to be bought soon by its customers. The first reports of Amazon having the patent to such a technology emerged as far back as 2014. This call will be taken on the basis of previous purchases and consumer behaviour. However, the company has been working on the technology for several years now and the latest in Amazon delivery marvel still remains same day delivery.
How predictive shipping works
The answer to that lies in the access to information that retailers like Alibaba and Amazon have on their users. “These companies have the lead as they have not only massive treasure troves of data on our behaviour, shopping and other forms of intent but they are able to harvest it through machine learning, data analytics,” Vijay Vaitheeswaran, US Business Editor for The Economist said in a recent podcast. With this kind of insight into consumer shopping patterns, the companies are able to position stocks much closer to the customers, Vijay Vaitheeswaran added.
However, with the delivery war heating up among e-commerce platforms, the question is whether Amazon’s novel concept is even feasible considering consumer demand is not the only factor governing supplies.
Vijay Vaitheeswaran and Jason Palmer of The Economist Radio discussed the constraints that Amazon will face in executing its ambitious plan. One concern is promising delivery of products still under production or procurement. To tackle this, the companies are shortening their supply chain and moving suppliers closer to consumers, Vijay Vaitheeswaran said.
“If implemented well, this strategy has the potential to take predictive analytics to the next level, allowing the data-savvy company to greatly expand its base of loyal customers,” Praveen Kopalle, professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, wrote for Forbes in 2014.