Amazon's Anticipatory Shipping Will Send Before You Buy

Better strap on that tinfoil helmet, cut up your credit cards, and erase your identity online, because Amazon.com is about to take online shopping to a whole new, drone-delivered level.

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Over the weekend, the online retailer acquired a patent for "anticipatory shipping," a new style of online shopping that essentially will make impulse buying look like child's play.

Using the unnerving amount of data the company already has collected from its customers -- including search histories, account information, wish lists, and the average time a user spends hovering the cursor over a specific item (yes, the company even keeps track of that) -- Amazon plans to deliver items to regional hubs, where its potential customers already are living.

This premeditated method of sending products to areas where Amazon anticipates shoppers will want said products (before they've even bought them) will shorten estimated delivery times and is just one of Amazon's most recent strategies to compete with other businesses (alongside drones and Sunday deliveries).

In other words, anticipatory shipping will be to online shopping what October is to Christmas. So if it freaks you out that Big Brother has already picked out what you're going to get mom for Mother's Day, you might want to stick to paying cash from here on out.

Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version.

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