With the upcoming Amazon Prime Day on July 11, retailers and customers need to be on high alert for porch pirates. Package theft, also known as porch piracy, is expected to increase by 40% in the week following the Prime Day event, according to security company Security.org. This rise in package theft poses a significant threat to online retailers, especially those who sell through Amazon.

Amazon Prime Day 2023

Based on data.ai’s analysis, this year’s Prime Day sales event is projected to surpass the previous year’s record rollout in over 20 countries. The event is expected to generate a significant increase in the collective time spent on shopping apps on Android phones worldwide, surpassing 1 billion hours.

This represents a 9% growth compared to the shopping app usage during the week of Prime Day 2022.

Source: CRR Research

Prime Day is a notable mid-year shopping event that brings a substantial increase in collective shopping traffic, alongside retailers introducing their own sales. This event stands out as it generates significant competition outside of the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday period.

Retailers are leveraging flash sales as a strategic approach to enhance customer retention through loyalty and rewards systems, further intensifying the competition in the market.

Package Theft Epidemic Surges During Amazon Prime Day

According to a recent Security Organization report, Amazon Prime Day in 2020 generated over $10.4 billion in revenue worldwide. However, it also coincided with an increase in package theft rates, which are currently at an all-time high.

Research conducted last year in May and September revealed that 40 percent of U.S. households reported package theft incidents, with one in five households experiencing theft within the previous three months. Similarly, Google searches for “stolen packages” rose by nearly 40 percent during the last holiday season.

Shockingly, the United States sees approximately 1.7 million packages lost or stolen daily, totaling over 620 million packages in a year. During e-commerce booms like Prime Day, package theft rates are expected to increase by at least 40 percent in the week following the event.

Source: CRR Research

In the realm of package theft, the element of surprise often determines the worth of a stolen box. However, thieves in certain states seem to have better fortune compared to their counterparts in other regions. Across the United States, the typical stolen package holds a median value of $50.

Source: Security.org

These alarming statistics emphasize the urgent need for retailers and delivery services to address package theft. Implementing effective preventive measures and security practices is crucial to protect customers’ purchases and maintain their trust in online shopping.

How Retailers Can Protect Packages from Pirates

Amazon offers a guarantee policy called A-to-z Guarantee to protect customers who purchase goods from its third-party sellers, providing coverage of up to $2,500. However, the e-commerce giant expects customers to first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the seller.

Protecting against package theft is crucial for retailers, especially during high-traffic events like Prime Day. Here are key measures to ensure secure deliveries:

Utilize Amazon Hub Lockers or Counters

Sellers can have orders delivered to these automated locations, such as malls and grocery stores, reducing the risk of theft. Note that Hub Lockers accept packages exclusively from Amazon, while Apartment Lockers accept packages from anyone.

Assess ZIP code risks

Crime rates vary by city, so retailers should evaluate the risk of theft based on the location. Amazon strategically places Hub Lockers and Counters in ZIP codes with higher property crime rates.

Findings indicate that Maine has the lowest concentration of package theft victims, while Alaska experiences nearly two-and-a-half times higher rates. Wisconsin, Alabama, and Georgia ranked as the safest locations for package deliveries, trailing behind Maine.

Source: Security.org

Promote seasonal security

During peak shopping periods like Prime Day and holidays, encourage customers to provide delivery instructions, such as delivering to a neighbor’s house if they won’t be home. Communication through pre-event emails or on seller websites can offer theft-prevention tips.

Consider in-person signatures

For high-value items, retailers can recommend or require an in-person signature upon delivery. Alternatively, suggest delivery to the buyer’s workplace or offer purchase shipping insurance.

Explore delivery insurance

Some delivery companies offer shipment insurance options for merchants, which can be valuable depending on order frequency, size, and value. Research third-party package protection alternatives as well.

Maintain inconspicuous packaging

Retailers and brands fulfilling orders outside of Amazon should use low-key packaging with muted colors, minimal text (avoiding logos and branding), and smaller containers. Shipping sleeves can be a discreet alternative to boxes.

Solicit feedback from customers

Sending post-delivery emails requesting feedback on the delivery experience ensures successful delivery and provides an opportunity for customers to rate the service and provide feedback on the product.

How Buyers Can Safeguard Their Online Purchases

CRResearch asserts that in order to protect your online purchases from porch pirates, it is important to take proactive measures. One of the key steps is to stay informed about your deliveries by closely monitoring the delivery tracking and signing up for alerts. This way, you can stay updated on the whereabouts of your packages and ensure their timely retrieval.

Promptly collecting your packages upon delivery is crucial to minimize the opportunity for theft. By being diligent in retrieving them as soon as possible, you can reduce the chances of porch pirates snatching them away.

Exploring alternative delivery options can also be beneficial. Consider having packages sent to your workplace or the address of a trusted relative, or choose the convenience of in-store pickup. These alternatives provide a secure location for package receipt and minimize the risk of theft.

Additionally, installing security measures can act as a deterrent to potential thieves. Consider using a camera doorbell or other visible security devices to increase the safety of your deliveries and discourage porch pirates from targeting your home.

Source: CRResearch

By proactively implementing these preventive measures, retailers can safeguard against theft and improve sales, and buyers can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to porch pirates. Despite the costs associated with theft, investing in prevention rather than covering losses can make a significant impact. By being proactive, buyers can outsmart porch pirates and safeguard their valuable deliveries.

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