New patent shows how Amazon plans to kill box stores once and for all

Amazon Anticipatory Shipping Patent

Amazon has already been doing massive amounts of damage to big box retailers and now it’s working on a new system that could be its final knockout punch. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon last year was granted a patent for what it describes as “anticipatory shipping” that will look at consumers’ past buying habits and ship products that it thinks they will buy to nearby warehouses in anticipation of their orders. So for instance, if you’ve already bought all five A Song of Ice and Fire books from Amazon, the company will make sure to have the sixth book shipped to a warehouse near you so that when you order it the company can get it to you on the same day.

However, the Journal notes that Amazon’s system may go even further than looking at your past shopping history and might also look at “product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.” Amazon wants to implement this system so it can eliminate the days-long waits that customers often have for products to arrive if they only pay for standard shipping. This way, customers won’t be as tempted to go to a brick-and-mortar retailer if they know they can get something within hours without leaving their house.

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