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Amazon claims it knows you

by on20 January 2014

Can start shipping before you ordered

Online retail giant Amazon says it knows its customers so well it can start shipping even before orders are placed.

The outfit has just gained a patent last month for what it calls "anticipatory shipping.” Amazon says it may box and ship products that it expects customers in a specific area will want, based on previous orders and other factors it gleans from its customers' shopping patterns, even before they place an online order.

Amazon didn't estimate how much delivery time it expects to save, or whether it has already put its new system to work. To minimize the cost of unwanted returns, Amazon said it might consider giving customers discounts or even make the delivered item a gift.

"Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill," the patent said.

Can’t see this brilliant idea flying. Even if I want a book, chances are that I might not have the dosh.

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