amazon primeAmazon’s latest patent filing is for anticipatory shipping – that’s the kind of shipping that occurs on products you haven’t bought or paid for – yet. According to the documents filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company will be using data based on location, prior purchases, and even other shoppers in a given area to pre-ship items to a local distribution center where the last destination can change en route.

Think of it as a way for them to box items and get it towards you – if you have a full cart that’s waiting for payment. While it may make it convenient for items to be closer to shoppers – like in real brick and mortar stores, the local hubs will enable the Amazon to get you items much quicker if they ever use delivery drones. Perhaps the future of Amazon’s commerce model will involve getting items to test or try out before paying?