Amazon.com Introduces a New Feature: Mind Reading

The retailer now promises to ship what you want before you buy it.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:45AM

Think Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) won't take extreme measures to serve shoppers? Think again. The Wall Street Journal reported the e-tailer has patented a process for shipping products even before shoppers click the "buy" button.

Called "anticipatory shipping," Amazon's computers use signals to determine the odds of there being a need for certain goods in a specific locale and then shipping ahead to meet demand as it spikes. The goal? Cut delivery times and dissuade consumers from visiting physical stores.

In the following video, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says investors should think of it as akin to Google's compulsion to speed the delivery of search results. Nor should anyone be surprised. This, after all, is the same company that wants to experiment with using drones to deliver packages to residential shoppers.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you see Amazon's strategy as useful or creepy? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Amazon at current prices.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway, and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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