Amazon recently obtained a patent for "anticipatory shipping" — a system of delivering products to customers before they place an order. Using predictive analytics, such as previous searches and customer wish lists, the company could potentially ship items to a hub in the customer’s area ahead of time. When users are ready to buy the item, it can then show up quickly, perhaps as soon as a few hours. There is a financial risk, however; if the company inaccurately predicts what a customer wants, then shipping costs are wasted.

What do you think?