Imagine perfecting your post-purchase experience with every detail thoughtfully considered, only to have your carefully curated package stolen right off your customer's doorstep. Not only does this impact your bottom line, but it upsets customers—they may even blame you for it.
This frustrating experience is known as "porch piracy".
It's something we've all been affected by, and it can be a real problem for merchants and eCommerce business owners. In this post, we’ll take a look at what porch piracy is, how to prevent it from happening to your business, and how AfterShip Protection can help.
What is Porch Piracy?
Porch pirating is the act of stealing packages from someone’s doorstep. This can happen when a package is delivered and the recipient is not home, or it can occur even if the recipient is home, but the package is left unsecured.
There are a number of reasons why someone might resort to package theft. In some cases, it may simply be because they are opportunistic and see an easy target. In other cases, it may be because the individual is specifically targeting a business or type of product.
Whatever the reason, porch piracy can be a serious problem for businesses that rely on shipping to customers. Not only does it result in lost revenue, but it can also damage your reputation if customers feel that their orders are not safe from theft.
How Big of a Problem is Package Theft?
This problem is only compounded by the fact that eCommerce sales are also on the rise. In 2020, eCommerce sales in the United States saw a 31.8% year-over-year growth2. And even though sales have decelerated since that initial burst at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still seeing eCommerce sales growing at nearly 14.2% each year.
As online sales continue to grow, it’s likely that porch piracy will become an even bigger problem.
How Does Package Theft Impact Businesses?
Package theft can have a serious impact on businesses, both in terms of lost revenue and damage to reputation. It can also lead to increased shipping costs as businesses try to find ways to protect their packages.
Let's walk through a few examples.
If a business has a shipment stolen from a customer’s porch, they not only lose the revenue from that particular product, but they also might miss out on the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell to that customer.
In addition, if the customer finds your response to the lost package unsatisfactory, you could well lose them for life.
In some cases, customers may not even realize that their package has been stolen until they try to track it and see that it was delivered but never received. This can obviously be a frustrating experience, and it may cause the customer to question the safety of their personal information (such as their shipping address) if it was included in the package.
When customers are at home when a package is stolen, it can be especially infuriating if they have taken time off work or made other arrangements to be there for the delivery. In either case, an unhappy customer is unlikely to do business with you again.
Damage to Reputation
Package theft can also damage your business’s reputation, especially if it becomes a repeated problem. If customers feel that their orders are not safe from theft, they are likely to shop elsewhere. In addition, negative reviews and word-of-mouth can also lead to lost revenue as potential customers choose to shop with your competitor instead.
Busy Customer Service
Porch piracy can also lead to an increase in WISMO (“Where Is My Order”) inquiries, as customers try to track down their stolen packages or obtain refunds. This can be a time-consuming and costly process for businesses, particularly if they do not have a system in place to deal with these types of inquiries.
All of these potential consequences can seriously harm your business, so it's important to take steps to prevent package theft from happening in the first place.
How to Reduce the Impact of Porch Piracy Theft
There are a few steps you can take to help reduce the impact of porch piracy on your business and your customers.
Encourage Customers to Ship to A Secure Location
If you have customers who are concerned about package theft, encourage them to ship their orders to a secure location, such as a locker or office. This way, they can pick up their packages at their convenience, and you can be more confident that they will receive them safely.
Require a Signature
As a business, you can require a signature upon delivery of your packages. This will help to ensure that the item is received by the intended recipient and will deter thieves from attempting to steal it. Obviously, this comes with an added annoyance for the customer, i.e. they have to be present when it arrives.
Offer an Insured Shipping Solution
Protecting packages through a provider that offers porch-piracy coverage can also be a good way to help protect your business and customers from the consequences of porch-piracy theft. However, few providers offer porch piracy protection.
Protecting packages against porch piracy, damage, and loss during shipping is easy with InsureShield™ shipping insurance services, available through AfterShip Protection.
Using AfterShip Protection
When you ship with AfterShip Protection powered by InsureShield™ shipping insurance from UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc., packages can be protected against porch piracy, loss, and damage. If a customer experiences porch piracy, approved claims are reimbursed up to the invoice value of the contents, plus shipping charges.
Your customers deserve the absolute best experience, even when things are out of your hands. Now you can give them an extra level of assurance with AfterShip® Protection.
By using AfterShip® Protection powered by InsureShield shipping insurance, you:
- Gain the confidence to quickly reship to customers—claims are paid in days, rather than weeks.3
- Empower your customers: Customers can choose if they would like to protect their packages with AfterShip Protection at checkout.
- Eliminate the pain of managing claims: With AfterShip’s easy-to-use platform, your customers can file a claim in less than 5 minutes and have 24/7 access and visibility to the resolution status.
- Give customers peace-of-mind: You can notify customers of their claim status to help instill trust and display good customer service.
Don’t lose potential lifelong customers to a bad shipping experience! Are you ready to give your customers some peace of mind? Learn more about AfterShip® Protection powered by InsureShield™ shipping insurance today.
- Rensselaser Polytechnic Institute Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems. Analyst Jose’ Holguin-Veras, the New York Times. And by and Nashville News Channel 5, December 5, 2019. https://www.newschannel5.com/news/report-1-7-million-packages-stolen-every-day
- Digital Commerce 360, U.S. Department of Commerce retail data, February 2022. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/
- Figures are based on aggregate insurance claim payment data collected by UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc. during the period of four consecutive fiscal quarters ended December 31, 2021. Individual results may vary.