How brands, retailers and delivery services should approach the Problem of porch piracy


Virtually every year, holiday season shopping amounts break the last year’s record particularly in regards to ecommerce. With such enormous volumes of online deliveries, comes the danger of porch piracy. According to a recent study, nearly one in five homeowners […]

Virtually every year, holiday season shopping amounts break the last year’s record particularly in regards to ecommerce. With such enormous volumes of online deliveries, comes the danger of porch piracy.

According to a recent study, nearly one in five homeowners in the US have fallen prey to porch piracy, which spikes around the holiday season. Another report with a home security system company listed 10 main cities in which residents were most likely to receive a package stolen, such as Austin, Atlanta, Miami and Salt Lake City.

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In accordance with another study, Americans are spending $109 on average to replace stolen items, while shelling out an extra $191 on preventative measures to prevent package theft, like installing motion lights, purchasing a doorbell camera, setting up a fence and buying an Amazon clever key.

Porch piracy has become so prevalent that ecommerce businesses, retailers and logistics providers are deploying all kinds of tools and countermeasures to protect bundles.

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FedEx, for example, allows customers getting expensive items to pick up their packages from among its retail outlets. Amazon has installed lockers in over 900 cities and towns across the US to maintain packages protected from porch pirates. FedEx and UPS have partnered with retailers to offer safe pickup points for internet deliveries. FedEx also provides package pickups and drop-offs to its clients at any of the 8,000 Walgreen’s locations across the usa. UPS, in venture with Michael’s, has rolled out UPS secure Access Points for clients in 1,100 Michael’s craft stores.

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Tips to Avoid Porch Piracy

A current survey revealed that 61% of clients believe retailers and delivery companies aren’t doing enough to avoid package theft.

The survey highlighted that factors like the location of the box (easier to steal from the front porch), branded packaging, a descriptive explanation of the contents of this box (delicate ), and the size of this box (smaller ones are easier to catch ) make packages more appealing to porch pirates.

Online retailers believe that preventing porch piracy is outside of their control. However, after bundles get stolen, retailers and logistics providers are left with two choices – a free replacement of the lost packages or the possibility of losing customers.

By taking preemptive steps, companies can lower the odds of potential theft and keep their clients happy.

Offer theft insurance: The Shorr poll revealed that 53 percent of consumers would pay more for a product if a merchant or shipping service provider offered theft insurance.

Bundle the boxes subtly: In the same survey, 37 percent of clients agreed to pay more for discreet packaging which hides costly products or brands from burglars.

Deliver to a protected location: Nearly 71 percent of consumers in the Shorr poll said they are flexible in using packages delivered to a secure address, such as their office Post Office, Amazon Locker or UPS store.

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While the above options may take a while to completely execute, what approach should companies follow today to tackle porch piracy? Here are some tips:

  • You’re able to alert shoppers to the expanding bundle theft issue during checkout on your site and suggest preventive measures like flexible delivery times.
  • Provide Ship-to-Store delivery Choices. For those who get a brick-and-mortar shop, you can offer customers the option of picking up their orders in your shop rather than getting it delivered. Walmart is offering a ship-to-store alternative. Amazon is tweaking this strategy a little and asking customers to receive their orders delivered in any secure locker close to their delivery address.
  • Provide a package tracking facility to clients. Customers need to be able to track their packages so they can anticipate the shipping time and plan accordingly. You can use route optimization software for sending real-time alerts to clients just before a package is left on their doorstep and immediately after it is delivered. This will help clients make themselves accessible and protect against theft.
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There’s no single best solution for protecting bundles from thieves. A good tactic for retailers is to allow multiple delivery options for clients. By doing this, they can pick the option that they believe will best protect their bundle and work best for their program. From offering store pickup, to getting parcels delivered to their work address, allowing clients to select an alternative leaves less room for thieving. Irrespective of how retailers wish to tackle the issue, they have to remain proactive and work with clients to solve any problems that arise from missing or stolen packages.

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