What is the Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?

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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.

DeliverySafe Protects Your Package and Food Deliveries from Theft, Weather, and Spoilage

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 keeps perishables fresh for a long period of time.


The Ultimate Report on Package Theft in America

Package Theft Report in America - Thumbnail

This article is part of our full report on package theft in America. Here are all of the blogs posts on this topic:

  1. How Common is Package Theft?
  2. Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?
  3. Who are the Victims of Package Theft and Are You at Risk?
  4. Who are Porch Pirates?
  5. Who is Responsible for Package Theft and What is Being Done About It?
  6. How to Prevent Package Theft
  7. What is the Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?
  8. 4 Steps to Take When Your Package is Stolen
  9. A Complete Look at Package Theft Statistics
DeliverySafe's Lockable Package Delivery Box is the Modern Mailbox

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Follow us for important news and trends around online shopping and delivery of packages, meal kits and groceries. We’re here to help keep your deliveries safe and fresh.

The Watchguard for Your Deliveries

Follow us for important news and trends around online shopping and package delivery.