Last year, there was a 7% increase in ecommerce package theft. Although that number could be chalked up to the increase in online shopping, 32% of consumers feel that ecommerce brands should be doing more to keep parcels safe. Porch pirates are a pain, and they can wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line and reputation. Here are some tips that can help prevent package theft when selling online.
Knowing where an order is can provide relief for online shoppers. Simply being able to track the package to see when it will be delivered keeps customers in the loop. Customers can schedule their days accordingly and be home when the parcel is delivered. This means the package spends less time unattended on a front porch or in a busy apartment hallway and is less likely to be spotted by thieves.
Package tracking software can also alert customers, carriers, and ecommerce businesses to suspected theft quicker. If a package is marked as “delivered” by the driver, and the recipient has received a notification that it was dropped off, all parties can confirm that a parcel theft occurred without wondering if the package is just lost in the mail or still out for delivery. The authorities can be contacted, a refund or replacement product can be issued, and buyers can go about their day as if nothing happened.
Secure drop-off points
Sometimes a recipient can’t be home when a delivery arrives. Although more and more people are investing in security systems for their homes such as doorbell cameras, the risk of having a package stolen is still prevalent.
Rather than just leaving a package in plain sight, ecommerce companies and carriers can provide an extra level of security by allowing shoppers to leave instructions for the delivery driver or postal worker. These instructions can be as simple as telling them not to leave the box behind if nobody answers the door, or they can be more detailed. Customers can indicate that the box should be left behind a bush, a recycling bin, or by the back door or any other location that will keep it out of sight from prying eyes.
Another tool that carriers and brands can use to their advantage in outsmarting porch pirates is smart locker technology designed for parcels. Instead of leaving packages unattended at home, they can be placed within a nearby locker and the customer will be notified by email or text. They’ll receive the code required to open the locker and retrieve their parcel.
Some carriers also offer designated secure alternate delivery locations. These are retail outlets and partnering stores that offer services for their respective carriers. They can hold onto customer orders if someone isn’t home and ensure that packages are secure until they are handed off to the recipient.
Branded packaging is the extra step that great ecommerce retailers use to create a special unboxing experience. The downside to this is that branded packaging can put thieves on high alert when they see a box sitting by a doorstep.
To maintain the same level of brand experience without compromising package security, ecommerce brands can use several strategies.
The first strategy is using plain cardboard outer boxing without any visible branding. Instead, brands can focus on the interior of the box when printing their logos or special graphics. This allows the customer to enjoy the same unboxing experience without making the value of the merchandise obvious to porch pirates.
Ecommerce companies can also package their orders using water-activated tape, which cannot be removed without creating a visibly broken seal on the cardboard packaging. This prevents theft before the package is delivered and makes it harder for thieves to remove the merchandise from its packaging while still sitting at the door.
Finally, ecommerce brands can package their merchandise with opaque shrink wrap. This prevents thieves from knowing the contents of the box or being able to open the package quickly. The wrap can even make the cardboard stronger which makes it harder for the products inside to get damaged during transport.
Additional packaging materials can sometimes create some concerns for eco-conscious retailers and consumers due to increased waste. Recyclable or compostable tape, wrap, and cardboard are available to ease those issues, making the online shopping experience both more sustainable and secure.
Parcel theft is more than just a nuisance... It’s expensive
The unfortunate reality is that package theft is not uncommon. But it is expensive. In most cases, the seller is the one who must pay. The brand will need to issue a refund for the items and shipping without even getting any merchandise back.
To make matters worse, if the refund isn’t issued quickly or the customer feels that the process was difficult, it could negatively affect the brand’s reputation, even if the carrier is technically responsible for the loss. By implementing the strategies above, parcel theft can be curbed, allowing your ecommerce brand to deliver a better, more secure customer experience during the delivery phase.
To learn more about providing a secure and safe ecommerce delivery experience, talk with a delivery expert from Pitney Bowes. They’ll be happy to discuss your logistics challenges and find a solution that works best for you.