All Things Shipping | Dec 07, 2021

5 Ways E-commerce Businesses Can Protect Against Package Theft

Hasan Nabulsi

With Christmas around the corner, e-commerce merchants everywhere are seeing an increase in shipping as customers race to get their gifts in time for the holiday. But, with so many packages in circulation, the need to protect against package theft is at its peak.

Packages can get lost in transit, or worse, could be stolen. A report by the New York Times estimated that 15% of packages delivered to major cities like New York City, Washington D.C., and Denver never make it to their destination.

And according to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1.7 million packages are lost or stolen every day in the U.S.

Consumers are trying to fight back against porch pirates by installing video doorbells to record any potential threats.

However, there are certain steps e-commerce merchants can take to avoid the grinch this season and make sure customers safely receive their orders.

Offer In-Person Pickup

For e-commerce brands that have a physical storefront, giving your customers the option to pick up their orders in-store is a great way to ensure products remain safe until your customer can get to them.

However, physical pickups can still be implemented by e-commerce businesses that don’t have their own retail store.

For example, when shipping with FedEx, your customers can send packages to a FedEx office near them, as well as other physical stores. Or if shipping with USPS, you can allow customers to have packages sent to their P.O. box instead of their residential address.

With this method, your customers can pick up packages at a time that is convenient for them, while your products stay out of sight of potential thieves.

Offer Signature Confirmation Deliveries

One of the best ways to make sure customers receive their orders is by giving them the option to select signature confirmation at delivery. This means carriers won’t leave the package at a customer’s address unless someone is physically there to sign off on it.

If for any reason someone is not available at the time of delivery, the package is rerouted back to the delivery hub so that it remains safe with the carrier.

When shipping with UPS, your customers can choose to require a signature from themselves or from an adult at the address they are shipping to. Other carriers have this option as well.

Shippo users can add signature confirmation when creating shipping labels with just a click of a button.

Signature requirement does cost extra, but this added expense can be worth it for the peace of mind of your customers, especially on big-ticket items.

Offer Scheduled Deliveries

Another option your e-commerce business can take to ensure customers receive their orders is offering scheduled deliveries.

This will allow the customer to coordinate their own schedule around their preferred delivery window.

For example, with FedEx Home Delivery customers can choose what day they’d like to receive their package and can even specify what time they’d like the package to arrive. They can opt to receive it in the evening or have a defined two-hour window that they can arrange with FedEx.

The less time your packages stay unattended, the better chance your customers have to protect against package theft.

Other carriers offer similar services. They do come at an upcharge, but customers who don’t want their items being left alone to the threat of porch pirates are willing to pay that additional cost.

Keep Tracking Pages Updated

The sooner your customers can secure their package, the better. But, with the hecticness that comes with holiday shipping, delays are almost inevitable.

Keeping your tracking pages updated will allow your customers to adjust their plans accordingly to increase the likelihood of being at the package destination when it arrives.

E-commerce businesses can set up their branded tracking pages through Shippo. These detailed pages are updated at each step of your product’s shipping journey.

Your customers can also receive customized shipping notification emails so they are always aware of where their orders are.

Use Shipping Insurance

Even with all of these precautionary measures in place, the chance of packages theft still exists. This is when shipping insurance plays its part. Just the same as you may pay car insurance or home insurance to protect your assets in case something goes wrong, shipping insurance allows you to do the same for your parcels.

UPS and FedEx domestic parcels are automatically covered up to $100 against any loss or damage to the product.

But, for e-commerce businesses that ship out expensive items like electronics and jewelry, this may be too little an amount to provide proper coverage.

Through a partnership with Shipsurance, Shippo users can opt to select shipping insurance at up to 50% of the cost of some parcel carriers. For users of the Shippo web app, you’re able to add shipping insurance to your package in one click.

Keep in mind that packaging should be unmarked, as packages that hint at the box contents may not qualify for shipping insurance.

The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, not added stress and fear of package theft. Sign up to Shippo today for free and start creating shipping labels that come with added protection for your packages this holiday season.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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