Amazon Patents Futuristic Fulfillment Process


On Christmas Eve, while most merchants were most likely tracking every package that left its facility to ensure a timely Christmas delivery, Amazon was patenting what it calls an “Anticipatory Packing System” that would have a package ready for delivery before a customer even orders a single product.

By taking into account customers previous orders, product searches, wish lists, returns and their shopping carts, Amazon’s patented method basically would package and ship an item or items to a certain region, without a shipping address, and keep these packages in limbo at various shipping hubs until the orders are placed by the consumer, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the patent, Amazon may package and ship one or more items without a full delivery address, to have it ship closer to a customer who would want them, and when the order is placed, it would then complete the shipping label.

“It appears Amazon is taking advantage of their copious data,” Forrester researcher, Sucharita Malpuru told the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal also states that the new futuristic fulfillment technique “could cut delivery time and discourage consumers from visiting physical stores.”

This isn’t the only new technological advancement Amazon hopes to unveil in the future. Besides building multiple fulfillment centers across the country, On Dec. 1, Amazon announced during an episode of 60 Minutes that it was hoping to deliver orders via drones by 2015. Amazon Prime Air, according to episode, is planning to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Erin Lynch is the senior content producer at Multichannel Merchant. Erin can be reached (203)899-8461 or connect with her socially on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.