Not a long time ago, e-commerce was not much profitable because people were reluctant to wait weeks for their product to arrive. Then amazon swooped in with their “Two-day delivery promise,” and we witnessed a paradigm shift in the industry. Every other giant followed the suite and ramped up their delivery speeds. In recent times Amazon has also launched a “One-day delivery promise,” and everything is seamless now. But is this the utopia we all dreamt of? Is this our limit? Well, Jeff Bezos certainly don’t think so! Amazon has recently filed a patent that allows them to deliver products before a customer places an order! Amazon calls it “anticipatory shipping”.
What is anticipatory shipping?
As the name suggests, amazon can now anticipate an order using Predictive analytical technology. Using this, they will be able to anticipate an order, pack that product, and ship it from the warehouse before the user places an order. The product just sits and waits quietly at the last stop and is sent out for delivery only when the user places the order. So the end-user will have no idea that his product was shipped even before he placed the order. But he will be able to get his order within a few hours. According to the reports, this technology will first be launched for the products which are bought more frequently. For example, people buy groceries more frequently than smartphones.
How does it work?
Anticipatory shipping by amazon works on predictive analysis. Predictive analytics is a branch of data analytics. In true sense, it is a harmonious blend of data mining, machine learning, and predictive modeling. This technology is used to produce future insights with a significant degree of precision. The only thing that is required to improve precision is lots and lots of data. And Amazon has no shortage of it. Using this massive treasure of data, Amazon will be able to study our behavior, shopping trend, and our usual spending range. All this will empower amazon to deliver products at the speed of lightning. In some cases, we can even expect the product to be delivered within 30 minutes! Now that’s quick!
How it will change the industry?
It has the power to revolutionize the way we live. Today, if someone requires a product urgently, they have no option but to resort to physical stores. With this latest technology, going to markets will be a thing of the past. And not just Amazon, but it will force all its competitors for a complete overhaul of their delivery system. Its competitors like Alibaba or Flipkart, are already struggling to compete with amazon’s one-day delivery. Anticipatory Shipping by amazon will also help the suppliers to stock products in advance if they can have a prediction about the number of orders that will be placed. Grocery shopping will see the biggest change as people usually follow an obvious trend while buying groceries. They follow a monthly or weekly cycle. They usually also have a set budget allocated for groceries. All these insights will help to form a robust predictive model.
When can we expect it working?
Anticipatory Shipping by amazon once adopted will cut short the delivery time tremendously. But the time to implement it in daily use has been nothing short of a mammoth. Amazon filled the patent back in 2012. They later obtained it is December 2014. Since then, the progress of this advanced technology has been sluggish. It is nowhere near to be launched in the coming 3-4 years. But as we all know, good things come to those who wait. Amazon cant risk launching this technology in a hurry. Because if they do and the implementation is anything but perfect, then the devastation will be uncontrollable.
Fun fact about amazon: Amazon started as an online bookstore in Jeff Bezo’s garage! The company then expanded its business and also updated their logo. The yellow line in the current logo represents a smile, showing customer satisfaction. This curved arrow points from A to Z in the word ‘amazon’. This highlights the fact that Amazon sells everything from A to Z
The idea sounds good on paper. But its implementation seems a lot trickier. The idea has the potential to tighten amazon’s grip in the e-commerce business. But if implemented poorly, this idea alone is capable of damaging amazon reputation more than anything
Your topics are always very interesting , informative and this piece was very much revealing as well . Good job !