Ecommerce and online shopping have grown rapidly in the last few years thanks to the convenience it affords many Americans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people worldwide have relied on online ordering and package delivery for many household items like cleaning supplies and toilet paper as well as food. With the growing need for online shopping, comes with it the unfortunate rise of package theft and porch pirates.
A market research firm located in Chicago named C+R Research recently surveyed 2,000 consumers who have shopped online at least once within the last 12 months to learn more about their experiences with package theft and what preventative measures they’ve taken to prevent porch pirates. Let us take a deeper look into what they found.
Package theft in 2020
The first part of the survey asked American consumers how often they receive package deliveries to their home in 2020. The data from C+R Research compared numbers from this year to numbers from last year from a separate survey they also did on package theft. In 2020, 10% of Americans said they receive package deliveries daily. In 2019 that number was only 5%, so as you can see the number of Americans receiving daily package deliveries has risen by 100% in just a year.
In 2019, 44% of Americans said they received a package delivery at least once per week. That number rose to 49% in 2020, showing nearly a 5% increase year over year. In 2019, 45% of Americans said they received a package delivery at least once per month. In 2020, that number actually decreased to 38%. In 2019 5% of Americans said they received a package delivery at least once per year. In 2020 that number decreased to only 2%. In both 2019 and 2019 only 1% of Americans said they receive a package delivery rarely or never.
So, in summary Americans are receiving more packages either daily or once a week this year.
Victims of package theft
In 2019, C+R Research found that 36% of Americans reported having a package stolen that year. In 2020 that number has increased by 7% to 43% of Americans reporting having had a package stolen in 2020. That number is also up from 31% in 2017 from a similar report. In 2019, 56% of Americans said they know someone who had a package stolen. That number jumped to 61% in 2020. In 2019, 31% of Americans said their neighbor had a package stolen. In 2020 that number jumped to 43%.
As you can see package theft numbers appear to be going up across the board. Both of people who actually had a package stolen from their doorstep, as well as people who know friends or family who have dealt with package theft this year. 64% of Americans also report having had a package stolen on more than on occasion.
So, what do most people do when a package is stolen? For many Americans (47%) that starts with filing a police report. The average value of a stolen package is $136. Fortunately for many Americans, they are able to receive a refund for their stolen items. 81% of Americans surveyed said they had luck receiving a refund on a stolen package.
Another common deterrent for porch pirates is a doorbell camera or a surveillance camera. Many Americans are turning to this technology to either catch the thieves or deter them from committing the crime in the first place. Of those surveyed, 50% have purchased a doorbell camera or another type of security device to either catch a porch pirate or to prevent package theft from happening. 32% say they believe delivery companies like Amazon, UPS, USPS, and FedEx are not doing enough to prevent package theft. Because of this, 39% stay at home to meet a delivery driver when they expect a package to be delivered.
Package Theft during COVID-19
Most would assume that a majority of Americans have ordered more package delivery as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey proved this assumption to be correct with 84% of Americans say they have ordered more things online during the pandemic. Only 12% said they ordered less items online during the pandemic and only 4% said their online ordering was about the same.
With those increased online orders has also meant an increased in packages being stolen. 29% of Americans surveyed said they had a package stolen during the pandemic. 22% of those said it was the first time they had been a victim of package theft. 43% also said they knew of someone else who had a package stolen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Package theft and the 2020 holiday shopping season
This holiday shopping season may look different than previous years because many Americans are choosing to do their shopping online and opposed to at a brick and mortar retail location for safety reasons and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
55% of Americans said they ended up purchasing more items online this holiday season when compared to last year. 31% said their online purchases were about the same and only 14% said they had purchased less items online this year when compared to last year at this time. 55% said they were victims or package theft during the 2019 holiday season and that impacted the way they bought gifts this holiday season. 52% said they were worried or concerned about having a package stolen this holiday season. 48% said they avoided buying expensive gifts online this year due to the thread of package theft.
Preventing package theft
The last part of the survey on package theft from C+R Research asked American consumers about the steps they took to prevent package theft this year.
Listed below are the top responses:
1. Staying home for package deliveries (64%)
2. In-store pick up instead of delivery (24%)
3. Installing a doorbell or other type of surveillance camera (23%)
4. Shopping at stores instead of online (21%)
5. Requesting a signature for all deliveries (19%)
6. Sending packages to a delivery center (13%)
7. Requesting drivers to hide packages (13%)
8. Sending deliveries to friends/relatives (11%)
Infographic by: crresearch