Grocers know that a secret to larger basket size is positioning frequently-purchased staples deep in the store, forcing shoppers by all the exciting stuff they didn't come for.
But online retailers are not so lucky. With just a few seconds to connect the user to precisely what he came to buy, eComm sites risk abandonment when they add any potential distraction.
So personalization is key to profitability for most large multi-category e-Retailers. who constantly look for cues to help them better predict the offers which will be most interesting to each user.
After two solid decades of digital innovation, Amazon's latest strides are increasingly centered around the shipping part of the online shopping experience. Amazon Prime, their drone concept, and the latest - a patent on predictive shipping - are all examples.
Details of the patent reveal a bit about how the site may leverage intrinsic cues to inform what is essentially predictive pre-shipping.
“In deciding what to ship, Amazon said it may consider previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.”
Predicting orders is not an entirely novel concept -- when the waiter at our favorite Mexican restaurant brings queso to our table before even we ask for it, he's making an informed prediction based on our order history. Amazon's just looking to do it on a massive, systemized scale -- using cues other retailers hadn't even considered.
How can you improve users' experience based on the information you already know about your users?