Does Amazon use a crystal ball or some other way to uniquely identify you and your wants? Mashable.com reports Tuesday evening on its website that anticipatory shipping may be closest that retail can come to that crystal ball. Amazon, which now has a patent for the algorithm-based system, could conceivably use the system to ship products before you even place an order.
Amazon looked into the future for supply and demand which led Amazon to apply in 2012 for and receive a patent Christmas Eve 2013. The patent was officially known as ‘method and system for anticipatory package shipping.' The patent summary describes a method for shipping a package of one or more items ‘to the destination geographical area without completely specifying the delivery address at time of shipment,’ with the final destination defined en route.
Think about the cost of supply and distribution. ‘Supply chain and logistics optimization is neither easy nor cheap, but it is the biggest opportunity for most companies to significantly reduce their cost and improve their performance,’ wrote H. Donald Ratliff, Ph.D., executive director of the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, in a paper (PDF). ‘For most...operations, there is an opportunity to reduce cost by 10% to 40% by making better decisions.’
So the world’s no. #1 retail supplier will save money and consumers will receive quicker delivery.
How the Amazon does patented algorithm work? According to the patent, this forecasting model uses data from your prior Amazon activity, including time on site, duration of views; links clicked and hovered over, shopping cart activity and wish lists. When possible, the algorithm also sprinkles in real-world information gleaned from customer telephone inquiries and responses to marketing materials, among other factors. Together, this can provide ‘decision support for speculative shipping of items,’ per the patent.
Amazon uses two computers to first identity location area and then an exact address once an order is placed. So, winter scarves in January can be in a convenient location already half way to a specific address. This cuts down on delivery time and meets instant gratification and use for the consumer, who does not need to travel to a mall shopping.
Eddie Baeb, a Target spokesperson, wrote in an email to Mashable, that starting last year, Target customers can order products online and pick them up at local stores. This year, Target is experimenting with shipping online orders from local stores.
This anticipatory order and shipping Amazon algorithm makes it simply convenient and time saving for the buyer.
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