February 14, 2020 Last updated March 10th, 2020 771 Reads share

Best Shipping Practices to Reduce Product Theft

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

According to recent research, sixteen percent of online shoppers had a package stolen in the past six months and another thirty percent had a package disappear for unknown reasons.

Package theft poses high risks to the e-commerce industry, especially since nearly all consumers (98%) say delivery influences their brand loyalty, and more than eighty percent say they’re unlikely to return to a brand after a poor last-mile delivery experience.

Businesses also can avoid negative brand attention and association by ensuring the safety of their packages.

In this article, we show what you can do to protect your customers’ deliveries from theft when they order a product from your eCommerce store:

  • Use subtle packaging
  • Encourage customers to use lockboxes or pickup locations
  • Utilize live order tracking systems

Use Subtle Packaging

More than half of online shoppers get their packages delivered to an unsecured outdoor area such as a front porch. This leaves packages vulnerable to theft, especially when thieves can identify the contents from a distance.

Ship packages in plain brown boxes rather than brand or product boxes that advertise their contents. The item that you bought is more important than the actual box.

While branded packaging may create an Instagram-worthy arrival, it can also catch the attention of porch pirates looking to steal valuable shipments.

Encourage Customers to Use Lock Boxes or Pickup Locations

In areas where package theft is most likely, encourage your customers to take advantage of lockboxes, pickup locations, parcel lockers, or drop boxes.

Amazon Hub Locker/Amazon Key

For example, Amazon Hub Locker delivery service allows customers to pick up their shipments from Amazon lockers at nearby stores and businesses using a unique 6-digit code.

Amazon Key delivery service provides an alternative solution to lockers, allowing delivery persons to place packages directly inside a customer’s home, garage, or car.

FedEx Redirect

FedEx Redirect service allows consumers to redirect packages to a nearby retail location for pickup. When their delivery arrives, customers get a notification to pick up the package from their chosen location.

UPS Access Points

UPS Access Points service provides neighborhood pick-up locations such as convenience stores, dry cleaners, and neighborhood markets, or major retail locations such as CVS Pharmacy and Michaels.

UPS Access Point customers can pick up deliveries at their convenience.

Parcel Lockers/Personal Dropboxes

Parcel lockers, commonly placed in office buildings and apartment complexes, allow delivery persons to deliver packages to secure lockers.

When packages are delivered to parcel lockers, customers receive a key in their mailbox that allows them to open the locker and retrieve their shipment.

Personal drop boxes with smart locks provide safe at-home delivery options for homeowners.

For example, combining a dropbox with a smart padlock such as BoxLock allows delivery drivers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, Amazon) to unlock place boxes inside the container by scanning the package’s bar code.

Customers can track their deliveries through the BoxLock app and receive a notification when items are deposited.

For customers who are often away from home when packages arrive, recommend a lockbox, dropbox, or package pick-up service to ensure secure delivery.

Utilize Live Order Tracking Systems

As technology works to improve the future of logistics, most fulfillment experts can help your company with advanced services such as live order tracking or scheduled delivery times that can prevent package theft.

Companies shipping directly from their warehouses can benefit from commercial tracking services such as PackageMapping, which enables you to install a customer shipment tracking system on your website.

Direct order tracking for customers is available through most carriers, including UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Consider recommending direct order tracking if you don’t have a shipment tracking system on your website.

UPS My Choice for Home

UPS My Choice for Home provides a full range of services that allow your customers to track and control their packages with abilities for:

    • Rescheduling package deliveries
    • Getting delivery estimates
    • Receiving delivery alerts
    • Leaving instructions for the delivery driver
    • Planning deliveries around their schedule

FedEx Delivery Manager

FedEx Delivery Manager service allows customers to track and control their deliveries by:

    • Redirecting packages for pickup at nearby retail locations such as Walgreens or FedEx
    • Receiving alerts when packages are sent
    • Request vacation holds
    • Provide delivery instructions
    • Receive tracking info on smart wearables

USPS Tools

USPS Tools let customers track and control their postal shipments with package management options such as:

    • Tracking orders as they move from city to city
    • Signing up for text or email updates
    • Intercepting packages
    • Rescheduling deliveries
    • Holding shipments
    • Receiving instant delivery notifications

Package tracking services allow customers to supervise their purchases and make arrangements to ensure that their packages don’t sit outside unsupervised.

Prevent Your Shipments From Theft

Establishing safer conditions for package delivery can save your company a mountain of hassle and negative brand attention.

Companies can help prevent package theft by sending shipments in subtle packaging and encouraging customers to track and manage their order deliveries.

Consider recommending a package pickup service or smart dropbox to customers who live in high-traffic or high-theft neighborhoods.

courier giving parcels – DepositPhotos

Grayson Kemper

Grayson Kemper

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