Amazon to Consider Shipping Items Before You Buy

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amazon wants to begin shipping your next purchase before you even buy it.

In December, the retailer gained a patent for "anticipatory shipping," says the Wall Street Journal, a method that would allow them to start the delivery process before a user makes the final click in the purchasing process.

The Journal says that Amazon expects to cut delivery time and perhaps discourage customers from visiting physical stores.

Weather and heavy volume caused delays  in Amazon's shipment of items during the holiday season, but this new process would eliminate the delays that Amazon says "may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants."

According to the Journal, Amazon could consider previous orders, location, product searches, shopping carts, returns and even the length an internet user spends "hovering" over an item in order to determine what items should be sent out ahead of time.

The patent does not guarantee that Amazon will enact the new method.  

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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