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Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, and Privacy
As consumers shift to do more of their shopping online, package theft is rapidly on the rise. A 2015 report estimated that 23 million American had packages stolen from their doorsteps.
While many people associate package theft with the holiday season, new data shows that package theft is an issue all year long.
To better understand how package theft is impacting the American population in 2017, I worked with Shorr Packaging to survey 1,000 Americans to see who’s being affected by package theft.
Here’s a snapshot of what we found:
- 31% of respondents had personally experienced package theft in the past year.
- 61% of respondents said they believe online retailers are not doing enough to prevent package theft. While consumers are quick to blame online retailers, most consumers (58%) believe shipping companies are doing their job to prevent package theft.
- 41% of respondents stated they have avoided purchasing certain items online to prevent package theft. On top of that 53% of respondents actively change their plans to make sure they are home for packages, despite not having to sign for it.
- Despite the rise in package theft, consumers still prefer to shop their packages to their home (92%) as opposed to their work (5%).
- Consumers believe that online retailers should use discreet packaging to help prevent package theft.
Take a look the rest of the survey data and check out the infographic below.
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Package Theft Report
Package thieves, also known as porch pirates, are real and they’re coming for your packages. A report released in 2015 estimated that 23 million Americans had packages stolen from their doorstep. We surveyed 1,000 people to understand how the American public is being affected by package theft in 2017.
31 percent of respondents stated they had personally experienced package theft.
We asked, “How often do you receive packages?”
- 37% 1-2 times a month
- 41% 3-5 times a month
- 17% 6-10 times a month
- 3% 11-15 times a month
- 2% 15+ times a month
Ordering Packages and Spending
What is the most you’d feel safe spending online for an item that has to be shipped to you?
- $0 – $50 4%
- $51 – %100 12%
- $101 – $500 35%
- $1,000 – $5,000 17%
- $5,000+ 5%
Average E-commerce Spending By Developed Environments
- Suburban $221/month
- Rural $187/month
- Urban $186/month
How much do you spend online per month for purchases that are shipped to you?
- $0 – $50 18%
- $51 – $100 39%
- $101 – $500 38%
- $500 – $1,000 4%
- $1,000 – $5,000 .8%
- $5,000+ .2%
Average E-commerce Spending by Region
- Northwest $251/month
- Southwest $189/month
- Midwest $168/month
- Northeast $205/month
- Southeast $235/month
Average E-commerce Spending Per Income Level
- Less than $30,000 $123/month
- $30,000 to $50,000 $220/month
- $50,000 to $75,000 $207/month
- $75,000 to $100,000 $213/month
- $100,000 or more $298/month
Where do you prefer sending your packages?
- Home 92%
- Business 5%
- Friend’s House 1%
- Neighbor’s House 1%
- Parents’ House 1%
42% have an area, not visible to the public, where delivery companies can leave packages.
35% have sent a package to an address other than their home to prevent theft.
Percentage of Private Receiving Areas by Developed Environment
- 50% Rural
- 47% Urban
- 36% Suburban
Compared to millennials and Generation X, Baby Boomers are least likely to change their plans to receive a package in person.
53% stated they have changed their plans to make sure they were home for a package, despite not having to sign for it.
41% of respondents stated that they have avoided purchasing certain items online to prevent package theft.
What items have you avoided buying online due to fear of package theft?
- 43% Electronics
- 33% None
- 17% Collectibles
- 2.4% Clothing
- 1.4% Jewelry
- 1.3% Tools
- 1% Art
- .8% Shoes
- .2% Toys
- .2% Books
Average largest amount males and females are willing to spend for shipping items
- Male $1,333
- Female $987
Average largest amount for shipped items by income
- Less than $30,000: $1,031
- $30,000 – $50,000: $998
- $50,000 – $75,000: $1,105
- $75,000 – $100,000: $1,181
- $100,000 or more: $1,932
What is the most expensive item you’ve ever purchased and had shipped to you?
- $0 – $50 1%
- $51 – $100 6%
- $101 – $500 41%
- $500 – $1000 31%
- $1,000 – $5,000 20%
- $5,000+ 1.5%
Female respondents spent on average 26 percent less than male respondents for their most expensive items
Preventing Porch Pirates
- 61% of respondents said that they felt online retailers are not doing enough to prevent package theft.
- On the other hand, 58% stated they believed shipping companies are doing what they can to prevent package theft.
- In fact, 47% purchase items from online stores to be delivered because they don’t have discreet boxes that don’t indicate what’s inside.
- 54% of millennials who were surveyed said they purchase items in discreet boxes to prevent theft, compared to 41% of Gen-X and 13% of Baby boomers.
- 71% of people said they would be open to having their packages sent to a secure location with a locker instead of their home.
- 37% of people said they would pay extra for an item in order to make the box that is being delivered more discreet.
- 53% of respondents, stated they would pay more for an item if the company offered theft insurance.
We asked, “In your opinion, what makes packages appealing to porch pirates?”
- Location of the box after arriving (e.g. front porch, easy to grab) 33%
- Branded packaging (brand names displayed on the box, e.g. Zappos) 31%
- Descriptive text on the box (e.g. fragile, TV inside) 20%
- The size of the box 13%
- The shape of the box 3%
We asked, “What should online retailers do to help prevent package theft?”
- Discreet packaging 29%
- Not sure 23%
- Offer to ship it to a secure location 18%
- Package theft insurance 16%
- Track boxes with GPS 9%
- Different size boxes if the box shape clearly indicates what is inside 4.5%
- Require a signature for the package .5%
shorr packaging cor.