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January 20, 2014

Amazon plans to ship items before customers order

The online retailer could soon be boxing and shipping items that you haven't yet bought, based on your previous purchases or product searches, in a bid to speed up delivery times.

By Kate Heslop

Amazon could soon start shipping products that you have not even bought yet, keeping them in a warehouse close to you for faster delivery if you ever decide to order the item at a later date.

According to a US patent from December, Amazon is planning "anticipatory package shipping", that enables the company to initiate the delivery process before a customer clicks ‘buy’ on the website.

The "anticipatory package shipping" idea aims to cut down delivery times, and dissuade customers from buying items that they have been viewing on Amazon from a physical retailer.

The patent shows that Amazon would begin to box and ship items that it expects customers in a specific area will want, based on product searches, previous orders, wish lists or the contents of a shopping basket before checkout.

The packages would then wait at nearby warehouses or stay on trucks until an order arrives.

Amazon has also announced that it will start Sunday deliveries in certain areas in the UK, including London, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester.

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