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2019 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates and Prevention

To understand the evolving nature of package theft in the U.S., in addition to providing an update to our extensive 2017 Package Theft Report and the 2018 Package Theft Occurrence Analysis, we surveyed 1,052 online shoppers about their eCommerce purchasing habits, experiences with package theft and the actions they take to deter porch pirates.

This holiday season shoppers have lost nearly a full week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when compared to 2018, creating a shorter window for consumers to complete their holiday shopping. Despite the time constraints, American shoppers are expected to spend $136B online from November 1 to December 31, a 13% year over year increase, according to data provided by Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud. Due to the abbreviated 2019 holiday shopping season, many shoppers are expected to turn to online retailers that offer expedited home (or workplace) delivery, resulting in an influx of unattended packages for package thieves to target.







Porch Pirate Prevention

Nearly 1 in 4 online shoppers surveyed (24%) had personally experienced package theft, a 7% decrease compared to the 31% of self-reported package theft victims in our 2017 Package Theft report.

With the proliferation of security technologies available to consumers, including video doorbells (i.e. Ring and Nest), social media apps like Neighbors and a growing list of alternative package delivery options (Amazon Hub Lockers and Amazon Key, porch pirates are likely finding it more difficult to locate valuable, unattended packages.

In fact, 58% of respondents who experienced package theft first-hand indicated that they plan on changing their online purchasing habits around the holidays to avoid being package theft victims again. A whopping 78% of package theft victims changed their plans in order to be present when a package was being delivered, despite not needing a signature to receive the package.

Over half of those surveyed this year have taken measures to protect themselves from package thieves. The most common behaviors online shoppers are exhibiting to protect their packages include scheduling deliveries (45%), purchasing home security systems (33%), installing video doorbells (31%), utilizing package lockboxes (19%) and granting remote access to delivery areas (5%).

Of the respondents who are scheduling deliveries, 60% think delivery companies are falling short/not doing enough when it comes to preventing package theft.

Doorbell Deterrence

One of the hottest items on many people’s holiday shopping list this year is a video doorbell. In fact, of the respondents who have been a victim of package theft, 41% have purchased a video doorbell.

Interestingly, 62% of respondents that have a private area, out of sight from the public where packages can be safely delivered, have still purchased a video doorbell.

Out of the generations represented in the survey, Generation X was most likely to have purchased a video doorbell (39%) – followed by Baby Boomers (29%), Millennials (26%) and Generation Y (6%).

Lock It Up

Package lockers are becoming an increasingly savvy option for online shoppers who live close to locations that offer the service. While package lockers provide a more secure alternative than leaving a package unmonitored at your front door, there are some limitations to this alternative package delivery system. For example, while Amazon offers its Hub Locker service for no additional cost, you must pick up your package within 3-days or risk having your item returned.

Despite the limitations, the majority of online shoppers surveyed (54%) that use package lockers believe delivery companies are doing enough to prevent package theft. Additionally, 57% of respondents who utilize package lockers have avoided purchasing certain items altogether.

Risks vs. Benefits

As online shopping ramps up during the holiday season, more consumers are weighing their options and conducting risk-benefit analyses to execute on their shopping lists. Of all online shoppers surveyed, 62% stated they would not pay extra to purchase package theft insurance, despite the potential risk of their packages being stolen.

68% of respondents even stated that they are unwilling to change their online purchasing habits around the holidays, despite the potential risk of package theft.

Regardless of where you land after conducting your own risk-benefit analysis for shopping online during the holidays, know that retailers have options when it comes to custom eCommerce packaging solutions that help their package arrive to you, the consumer, in a safe and efficient manner. To learn more about how Shorr helps retailers with their packaging needs, click here.

Survey Methodology

By leveraging SurveyMonkey’s Audience network of proprietary panels, we surveyed 1,052 online shoppers and asked a variety of questions related to online purchasing habits, package delivery tendencies, and security as it relates to receiving goods purchased online. All respondents live in the U.S., are between the ages of 18-100 and have indicated that they purchase items online through retailers. The survey was conducted between 10/30/2019 and 10/31/2019.

For media inquiries please contact Cassie Spenny via email.

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