I am absolutely fascinated by and in love with Amazon’s “anticipatory shipping” patent. Essentially, it will allow Amazon to start moving items to shipping centers that are closer to customers based on their digital body language before they ever click “buy.” In doing so, the retailer will cut days between order and delivery, challenging brick and mortar stores even more.
Evidently, the algorithm would be based on a combination between previous orders, browsing activity, wish lists and more. While the patent has been sensationalized by the media as “shipping you products before you buy them,” it is really just the next level of customer experience and inventory management.
So the brand experience question for brick and mortar retailers becomes: How will you create value above and beyond the immediacy with which you dispense products?