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What Effect Do “Porch Pirates” Have On Your eCommerce Business?

Although the holiday shopping season has passed and you’ve finally gotten a chance to relax a little bit, this is really the ideal time to think about your last mile order fulfillment.

So-called “porch pirates” are at an all time high as eCommerce orders are surging, meaning more and more customers are having their gifts and gadgets stolen before they ever have a chance to try them out.

The Effects of Porch Pirates on Your Reputation

According to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com, nearly 23 million packages were snatched from porches in 2015. And though you’d probably like to believe that your customers won’t blame you for this, it’s simply not true. Multichannel Merchant reports that 70 percent of the eCommerce customers they surveyed said they’d not return to a merchant after a single poor delivery experience. These numbers are telling, that’s almost 16 million customers you could be losing to porch pirates.

More Shipping, Security Options

Even when you’re not to blame, shoppers may find a reason to pin their package pilfery on you. You can fight back by giving customers more shipping options, for instance. Sometimes a delivery time is simply inconvenient, but the last mile shipper is inflexible about their delivery windows. Giving your shoppers a choice of shippers can help them pick the delivery method and time that works best for them.

For example, UPS offers a membership program that shows exactly where packages are located and when they’ll be delivered in select markets. This is a great tool for customers who are looking for more ways to protect their orders.

In addition, there are new security options and innovations daily. For instance, when your customers live in an apartment or other high traffic area, simply knowing a package is being delivered may not be enough. That’s why package delivery lockers are becoming such a big thing. Currently, they’re limited to larger metro areas, but very soon, package lockers will be coming to thousands of Walgreens locations in the United States.

FedEx is heading this program, which is placing security lockers in easy to access areas like the pharmacies where customers are already shopping. UPS has a similar service, called UPS Access Point. Customers have already enjoyed the security the limited available locker volume has given them, making them even happier with eTailers.

Porch Pirates can be costly burdens on your eCommerce business, but you don’t have to take the punishment for someone else’s crime. Instead, start offering more secure drop-off options for your packages, as well as more delivery choices so that customers can be sure to be home when their package is delivered.

 

April 18, 2017
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