Archive for March, 2014

Amazon and the Future of Retail

March 15th

There have been industry sources talking about Amazon’s plans for revolutionizing fulfillment for some time.  Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, contributed to the hype and speculation when he appeared on 60 Minutes and said that the future of delivery could easily include drones.  I would have ignored, or at least discounted the speculation until I saw the following from Amazon’s Patent filing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 10.08.34 PM

Amazon Patent Filing

Seeing the seriousness with which Amazon is working on anticipatory shipping, reopens a series of questions:

  • What will be the demand for same day and next day delivery from Amazon’s 55 fulfillment Centers?
  • Is Amazon on the edge of making major acquisitions in the delivery and fulfillment business?
  • Is the “demand/shipping” algorithm a critical competitive concept?

There’s no question that the dynamics of the future of the fulfillment market are describing a potential sea change in the nature of retail.  The question is whether the predictive analytics and the anticipatory shipping are simply the latest nuance in the commerce market or do they represent something more fundamental in the creation of a utility like structure.

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