Amazon seeks to ship orders before you buy

WASHINGTON – Amazon says it can read your mind.

Last year, the world’s largest online retailer announced it plans to ship packages using drones. But that’s so 2013. Now, the company wants to deliver products before customers decide to buy them.

Amazon recently received a patent for “anticipatory shipping.”

The company analyzes shopping history, wish lists, product searches – even how long a customer looks at an item. They could use that data to predict whether you are likely to purchase the product, then deliver the packages to a nearby hub until the actual order is received.

The Wall Street Journal reports the idea would cut down on delivery time and force customers to shop online more frequently, but if Amazon’s predictions are wrong the returns would cost them a lot of money.

It’s not clear whether or when Amazon will start using the technique.

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