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How To Prevent
Package Theft?
All You Need To Know

Times change and the behavior of porch pirates does too! Learn how to prevent package theft and protect your customers long-term.

Happy Customer Receiving Package No Theft
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In this article you'll learn:

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The sale no longer ends with the sale.

 

In fact, the post-purchase experience is at least as important as closing the deal.

 

Why? Because acquiring new customers is always more expensive than retaining existing ones. We cannot stress this enough.

 

And, unfortunately, most customers link a bad shipping experience to the brand itself. That’s bad news for a lot of eCommerce businesses, regardless of the size.

 

This can be even more regrettable when porch thieves come into the equation.

 

Speaking of which, did you know that almost $6 billion worth of packages were stolen in 2020 alone?

Online retailers can’t rely only on their customers to make sure the packages arrive safe and sound at their front doors and right into their hands.

 

Rather than finding themselves stuck, relying on customers and their own home security systems to prevent package theft, retailers need to be more proactive.

 

Some eCommerce websites still only provide the number of business days it takes for the item to arrive from point A to point B, minus the processing time or any shipment exceptions— no estimated delivery date on the product and checkout pages.

 

Your partner carrier might take 5-7 business days to transport the package from the warehouse to the customer’s house, but what about the order processing time? What if something unexpected happens, and you’ll leave your customers in the dark?

 

Not providing real-time order status updates leads to failed deliveries, an increased number of WISMO (“Where Is My Order?“) calls and emails, and dissatisfied customers.

Never receive
"Where Is My Order?"
calls again.

wismo before and after wesupply
wismo before and after wesupply

Never receive "Where Is My Order?" calls again.

On the other hand, store associates and staff members like customer service representatives are overwhelmed with the number of WISMO inquiries and theft complaints.

 

Nobody wants that.

 

Retailers, therefore, need to remove friction and the uncertainty of not knowing where their order is, when it’s going to arrive, and how long it will take for it to be delivered to their doorstep— burning questions for most customers.

 

What is the solution?

 

Turning to a complete UX post-purchase solution (like WeSupply) that enables you to display the estimated delivery date, provide order tracking, delivery notifications, etc., and ultimately combat package theft and protect legitimate customers.

 

Why Does Theft Prevention Matter?

 

These days, you can have just about anything delivered to your front door. Takeout, groceries, or a new piece of furniture or clothes. You name it.

 

Either way, chances are you no longer have to leave your house to get it.

 

However, as good as it sounds, it also comes with a few potential downsides.

For instance, there’s always the risk that your delivery will get lost or stolen.

 

And even if your package does make it to your doorstep, there’s no guarantee that it will stay there. These past several years, so-called “porch pirates” have become increasingly common, targeting unsuspecting homeowners, taking off with their packages.

 

You, both as a consumer and a retailer, alongside your customers, might fall victim to these offenses.

 

“It’s their fault for having it stolen. So what?” you might ask yourself.

 

Well, you’re also putting your business and its reputation in danger by not creating a safe, positive customer experience throughout the journey. Besides, you’ll also have to pay the cost of stressed-out employees and increased need for customer support representatives.

 

Expectations Vs. Reality 

 

Expectations:

 

  1. The delivery person comes out of the delivery truck and leaves the package at the front door. The customer comes back home and brings the package inside. Happy ending!
  2. The delivery services go as planned, but the items are pickup up by a porch pirate. The customer checks the footage from the security cameras and finds the culprit. Justice for everyone!

 

Reality:

 

What if there’s no home security system or a security camera?

 

What if someone else impersonates the customer and gets away?

 

Truth is that both customers and retailers need to work together on this matter for a favorable outcome. Unfortunately, some consumers feel that eCommerce businesses are not doing enough on their end.

For example, many retailers are still not offering shipment tracking for all of their orders or proactive delivery notifications. While this may seem like a trivial matter, it’s often quite frustrating for customers who are looking to make important purchasing decisions and need accurate, updated information in order to do so.

 

By communicating clearly and effectively any status updates, shipment exceptions, or delays, retailers can help promote greater customer satisfaction while boosting the credibility of their products and services.

Preventing Package Theft: Best Practices

 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re trying to avoid package theft at all costs.

 

When it comes to package theft, prevention is the best defense. With a few simple yet efficient techniques and some careful planning, you can keep your products safe from harm, and cut down on unnecessary costs. Especially since the average cost for a business to replace a stolen package is $109.

One of the first things to consider is where you’ll have your packages delivered: to the customer’s address, in one of your physical stores, at curbside? Next up, make sure you take any appropriate safety measures to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

 

You also need to consider services like order tracking and package delivery notifications. Most shipping companies offer tracking details and status updates to make it easier for businesses and customers.

 

This way, they’ll know exactly when the package will arrive, allowing them the necessary time to coordinate plans with any friends or neighbors who may be able to watch over or receive it while the customer is away.

 

To put it simply, here are the main steps you need to take in order to prevent package theft effectively:

 

  • Effectively track all orders and packages in one place
  • Enable scheduled deliveries and provide estimated delivery dates
  • Offer delivery notifications and status updates at all times
  • Have in-store, curbside, locker pickup options for order fulfillment
  • Encourage customers to install security gear on their end

Estimated Delivery Dates

 

“95% of customers are interested in some degree of proactive communication from companies they buy products and services from.” – Loyalty360

 

Package theft is a common occurrence, particularly during the holiday season.

 

One way to combat package theft before the order has even been shipped out is to use estimated delivery dates. Your customers will be able to set aside time in their schedule to receive the package themselves, or it could involve choosing another delivery or pickup option that’s more convenient and safe.

 

In turn, it can help you maintain strong customer relationships by ensuring that your customers always receive their orders as expected.

Order Tracking

 

Besides offering comprehensive pickup and delivery instructions to avoid stolen packages, another effective way to steer clear of package thieves is to provide real-time order tracking.

By keeping track of a package every step of the way, your team and the customer can easily spot any red flags along the way.

 

Just like with delivery notifications, order tracking enables customers to take immediate action, whether that means requesting a rescheduled delivery time or alerting local authorities.

In short, by staying on top of package theft at every turn, you offer customers peace of mind, helping them avoid becoming yet another victim of porch piracy.

Delivery Notifications

 

Imagine the frustration of waiting on a package that never seems to arrive. You check your tracking information every day, yet there’s still no sign of your package.

 

Not cool, right?

 

But there is a must-have solution for any retailer. More specifically, providing customers with real-time delivery notifications. With these notifications, they will know exactly the whereabouts of their packages and make sure that it arrives safely at their destination of choice.

 

And if they notice any suspicious activity, they can take action right away.

 

For instance, if the carrier requires a signature and the customer receives a notification letting them know that the package has been delivered, they’ll know that something is off.

 

At the end of the day, using delivery notifications is a fantastic way to protect your packages from harm and keep yourself informed at every stage of the shipping process.

Locker, Curbside, or In-Store Pickup

 

To avoid package theft entirely, offering other order fulfillment options like curbside and in-store pickup is key.

 

By opting to pick up items in-store, you can also drive more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations. On the other hand, by turning to curbside or locker pickup, you can create the contactless delivery experience some consumers expect, as a result of the ongoing global health situation.

 

Either way, the process is quite simple:

 

  1. Customers order products online and choose one of the aforementioned options.
  2. The customer is notified that the product is ready for pickup and a 4-digit PIN or a QR code is provided to retrieve their package.
  3. The store associates pick up the items and place the order in the locker or a customer’s vehicle upon arrival.
  4. Alternatively, the customer picks up the items in person at the store’s front desk.

Having an effective system in place helps streamline operations, especially during the busy holiday season or when the location is short on staffing.

Want to learn all about curbside pickup?

curbside employee delivering package
curbside employee delivering package

Want to learn all about curbside pickup?

Last Thoughts On Package Theft Prevention

 

In the end, package theft prevention boils down to a few simple but effective strategies.

 

First, it’s important to ensure that your deliveries are always made in a secure location, whether that be at home, at the office, in-store, or at curbside.

 

Secondly, encourage customers to arrive on time via delivery notifications and enable them to keep track of their order at all times. If they can schedule the delivery, that’s even better!

And never assume that porch thieves won’t take a package if it appears to be too heavy or inconvenient. You’ll be surprised at the extent some will go to accomplish their “mission.”

 

After all, package theft is an unfortunate part of modern life that we have to deal with sometimes. But by being vigilant and taking precautionary measures whenever possible, both retailers and customers can avoid these unpleasant situations and make the most out of online shopping.

 

See how WeSupply enables you, as an eCommerce business owner, to be proactive and take the first step toward theft prevention with estimated delivery dates, branded order tracking, and delivery notifications!

Are you ready to get started with Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) and Curbside?

Book a quick call and we are happy to chat.