The eCommerce industry continues to grow at a rapid rate in Americans, with millions of consumers choosing to shop online instead of in-store during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the added convenience of online shopping and eCommerce, many cities worldwide have reported drastic rises in the number of stolen packages. This, however, is not a new trend specific to the pandemic but one that has been slowly getting worse and worse with each passing year.
A market research firm from Chicago called C+R Research has performed package theft-related surveys in the last two years to learn more about the number of Americans dealing with package theft and porch pirates. This year, they surveyed over 2,000 American consumers that have shopped online at least once within the last year to learn more about their experiences with package theft and what measures they are taking to prevent stolen packages.
C+R Research found that nearly 60% of Americans report receiving package delivery at least once per week. That number is up nearly 10% from 2019. That number is not totally surprising with more and more people working and spending more time at home during the pandemic and opting for deliveries instead of shopping in stores.
Package theft: 2019 vs. 2020
In 2019, C+R Research found 36% of Americans said they had a package stolen 2019. In 2018, a similar survey found that 31% of Americans had dealt with having a package stolen. In 2020, that number jumped by 7%, with 43% of Americans report having had a package stolen 2020. As you can see, the number seems to increase between 5-7% each year. On top of that, 61% of Americans say they know someone who has had a package stolen (up 5% from 56% in 2019), and 43% said their neighbor had had a package stolen (up 12% from 31% in 2019).
Of those who have had a package stolen in 2020, nearly half said they filed a report with their local police department. 81% were able to receive a refund after reporting the stolen item. On average, a stolen package is worth $136.
Package theft during COVID-19
As I mentioned above, COVID-19 has impacted the way many Americans shop. Same-day delivery and eCommerce shopping both have become the preferred choice for many Americans. In fact, 84% of Americans said they had purchased more items online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 12% say they are shopping online less, and 4% report the same as before the pandemic.
In terms of package theft during the pandemic, 29% of those surveyed said they had had a package stolen during the pandemic. 22% of those said they were victims of package theft for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 43% say they know someone who had a package stolen during the pandemic.
How Americans are preventing package theft moving forward
Now that we looked at the numbers on package theft in 2020 let us turn towards what preventative measures American shoppers are taking to prevent package theft.
Listed below are the top responses from the C+R Research survey:
- Staying home for package deliveries (64%)
- Opting for in-store pick up instead of delivery (24%)
- Installing either a doorbell or surveillance camera (23%)
- Shopping at stores instead of online (21%)
- Requesting a signature confirmation for delivery (19%)
- Sending packages to a delivery center for pickup (13%)
- Requesting delivery drivers to hide packages that are out of sight (13%)
- Sending deliveries to friends or relatives that will be home to receive them (11%)
The full package theft 2020 report from C+R Research can be seen here.