What is the Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?

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What is the Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?

Around 35.5 million Americans have had a package stolen, adding up to an estimated $5.4 billion in losses. No doubt, these numbers will continue to rise as online shopping does in the years to come. 

So what is the overall impact of package theft? Taking a look at recent reports and social posts, it is clearly taking its toll in some key areas:

  1. Consumer Purchasing Behavior
  2. Overall Retailer Revenue
  3. Consumer Trust of Retailers and Shippers

Impact on Purchasing Behavior

Yes, consumers are buying more items online than ever, but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing so without hesitation. Here are some ways porch piracy has altered their behavior.

Avoid Buying Pricey Products

A report by C+R Research on package theft found that 48% of consumers purposely avoid purchasing pricey products online during the holidays because they are afraid porch pirates will nab them.  In a survey by Shorr.com, 31% of the respondents have avoided purchasing certain items at any time of the year due to the risk of package theft.

You also see several people tweeting about porch piracy and their declaration to stop purchasing online altogether. Here’s one from @Ohio_Jeremy:

@PekalaLaw says just go to the store:

Change the Way Packages are Received

In the same Shorr.com survey, package theft victims altered the way they receive packages in a variety of ways:

  • 64% have packages sent to an address other than their home.
  • 78% have changed their plans to ensure they were present to receive a package.
  • 51% have a package hidden by the delivery person if possible.
  • 29% have moved away.

Beyond the survey, we also see a rise in adoption of lockable delivery boxes, like DeliverySafe, which can be placed on the porch in the front of the house. Drivers have instructions to open the box to place the parcels then lock it back up. DeliverySafe, for example, has a simple digital keypad to open it up, and it locks again by closing it.

Impact on Retailer Revenue

While victims of package theft deal with the emotional pain and annoyance of porch piracy, it is typically retailers who pay the financial price of replacing these items. Although retailers' revenue will grow greatly in the years to come, there is a price to pay for each stolen package.

For online shoppers reporting package theft, the average cost to replace a stolen package is $109. And the highest cost for retailers? Their customers! In a study done by getconvey.com,  83% of customers said they will not shop with the same retailer again if they experience poor delivery. In fact, 98% of those surveyed stated they base their brand loyalty on the shipping experience.

This has the attention of the largest online retailer, Amazon, which set up lockers for delivery pickups. They also started Amazon Key, which at first allowed delivery drivers access to homes to put packages inside but quickly changed to garages after homeowners balked at the potential of strangers entering their home.

As it hits the bottom line more, expect to see more efforts by retailers and shippers in the near future to help solve the problem.

Impact on Consumer Trust

While many consumers may alter their shopping behavior and retailers or shippers will try to minimize the loss of revenue, perhaps the biggest impact package theft has is in overall consumer trust.  

In fact, in a survey of 2,000 Amazon shoppers 30% said package theft was their biggest concern. And who do consumers blame? Well, in a shor.com survey, 60% of respondents believe delivery companies are falling short or not doing enough to prevent package theft.


Online shopping is certainly entering a boom like we’ve never seen before. With this comes some downside--namely, package theft. It’s impact isn’t entirely known, as there are only a few studies available to understand it. But it is clear that the impact is significant enough for consumers, retailers and delivery companies to begin attempts to thwart it. 

The best option for consumers is to take matters into their own hands and protect their packages from theft. We see the DeliverySafe, a lockable package box, as the best way to do this over the long run. It also has the added benefit of protection against weather, and it keep perishables fresh for a long period of time.

More from the The Ultimate Report on Package Theft in America:

How Often are Delivered Packages Stolen?

As 8 in 10 Americans now shop online, home package delivery is rising fast and furiously. With this increase in parcels at the doorstep, package theft has also been on the rise. So how common is package theft?

Where and When does Package Theft Occur?

Which US metro areas and states have the highest interest in package theft? How does the proximity of a residence or business relate to higher incidences? And what is the most prevalent time of day and year for porch piracy? We answer these questions and more here.

Who are the Victims of Package Theft and are You at Risk?

How much do we know about the victims of package theft? And are you at risk? Although there isn’t a lot of crime data on this, there are some conclusions to be drawn in looking at relevant data and a few studies.

Who Steals Delivered Packages and How Do They Do It?

You’ve probably heard of “Porch Pirates”, the catchy phrase used to describe criminals who steal packages from porches. There are plenty of gotcha videos about them on YouTube catching them in the act, and they always find their way in the news around the Holidays.  But who are these porch pirates, and how do they steal packages?

Who is Responsible for Package Theft and What is Being Done About it?

“Why me?” is likely exclaimed by many Americans who are victims of package theft. Ultimately, the question is: Who is responsible for package theft and what is being done about it? Although there isn’t a clear answer, taking a closer look at some of the key aspects might help.

How can Package Theft be Prevented?

Despite some retailers and package delivery companies making an effort to stop porch piracy, much of this burden is still put on the consumer. So with this in mind, here are some ways you can prevent package theft.

What is the impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?

Around 35.5 million Americans have had a package stolen, adding up to an estimated $5.4 billion in losses. So what is the overall impact to purchasing behavior, retailer revenue, and consumer trust in online shopping?

4 Steps to Take When a Package is Stolen

More than 40% of Americans have felt the sting of package theft. After they discover the package is missing and experience the frustration that comes with it, the question that arises next is: What do I do now? To this end, here are 4 steps to consider if a package is stolen from the doorstep.

A Complete Look at Package Theft Statistics

We know that porch pirates are on the prowl in the US. There are enough reports on Twitter, YouTube and other forums to prove this. There are some significant studies, surveys and reports that have been conducted to get a clearer understanding of the key statistics related to parcel theft. For convenience's sake, we’ve compiled data from the variety of sources available here.