Amazon: The Ultimate in Extreme Client Care or…?

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Amazon is looking to ship products you haven’t yet ordered.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon received a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping” — shipping items before you actually buy them.

It appears they’re going to use all the customer data they have, and they have tons, to decide what you’re going to order, then ship it out.

In the patent document, Amazon says delays between ordering and receiving products “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants.”

So, according to The Wall Street Journal,  “Amazon says it may box and ship products it expects customers in a specific area will want – based on previous orders and other factors — but haven’t yet ordered. According to the patent, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs or on trucks until an order arrives.”

This would come in handy for things like new books or products where people are going to want them immediately.  They can ship it 95% of the way there and then, once an order is placed, add the final “who” onto the shipping document.

Or they can go a step further and *assume* (gotta love those algorithms) that since you’ve bought every Louise Penny novel you’re going to buy the next one and automatically ship it to you.  While they risk returns with this method, they could always offer discounts or the item as a “gift” to create goodwill and potential raving fans.

Of course this only works with hard products as opposed to Kindle sales.

What are your thoughts?  The ultimate in Extreme Client Care™ or Amazon going a bit too far with all the data they’re stockpiling on you?

Please join the conversation below.

Regardless of what you think of what Amazon’s doing,  you’ve got to admire their ingenuity.  How can you incorporate this striving for Extreme Client Care in every aspect of your business?