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How to Prevent Package Theft with Smarter E-commerce Packaging

Are your e-commerce customers reporting missing items from their package or that it was stolen off their doorstep? Package theft can affect customer shopping behaviour and how they perceive your brand. It is important to understand the types of packages thieves target as the online retailer is often to blame if the customer does not receive their product.

3 Factors Package Thieves Look For

There are several factors that can make your package light up like a red beacon for package thieves or porch pirates.

  1. Branded Packaging

  2. Descriptive Text on Box (E.g. Fragile, TV Inside)

  3. Large Packages

courier knocking on residential door to deliver two mailed parcels

1. Branded Packaging

Branded packaging is a good indicator of what is inside a package, and how much it costs. When reality-star, Kylie Jenner, launched Kylie Cosmetics – customers reported that their order was missing from the package when it arrived at their doorstep. The branded black and white boxes were easily recognizable, thieves opened the boxes and stole the contents before they arrived to the customer. Since then, Kylie Cosmetics has changed their packaging to a plain black box on the outside with the branded design on the inside of the container. 31 percent of respondents from Shorr's 2017 Package Theft Report said they felt branded packaging makes packages more appealing to thieves.[1]

stack of three parcels at front door with fragile written on box in black letters

2. Descriptive Text on Box

A package that tells you what is inside the box is all too easy for package thieves. This is similar to branded packaging; however, the descriptive text is telling thieves it is worth it to attempt to steal your package. This is an easy decision for thieves when they spot a tv shaped box with the manufacturer’s name printed on the side. 41 percent of Shorr's survey respondents stated they have avoided purchasing certain items online to prevent package theft – 43 percent being electronics.[1]

2 large cardboard parcels stacked at front door

3. Large Packages

In the mind of a package thief, the larger the package equals the bigger the payoff. Larger boxes are also easier for porch pirates to spot from a distance. It is common for online retailers to ship products in boxes that are too big for the product. The thief could be stealing batteries packed in an enormous box and think they are scoring some type of electronic. 13 percent of Shorr's survery respondents said they felt the size of the box makes packages more appealing to porch pirates.[1]


What Makes Packages Appealing to Thieves?

Shorr's survey respondents were asked what they think makes packages more appealing to porch pirates. The pie chart illustrates their responses.

How Online Retailers Can Reduce Package Theft with Smarter Packaging

Smarter packaging can help reduce the risk of package theft in transit and after it arrives at the customer’s doorstep.

1. Discreet Packaging: StealthWrap™

StealthWrap™ eliminates the extra cardboard shipping box all together. This shrink film system is designed to reduce packaging waste by 80 percent and ship products discreetly. With 99.9 percent opacity, StealthWrap™ shrink film is the perfect way to ship products without alerting thieves as to what is inside. StealthWrap™ allows online retailers to hide their recognizable branded packaging from thieves and maintain a strong brand interaction with consumers. StealthWrap™ is incredibly tough and has high tear strength, if it is torn, it will show clear signs of tampering. Black StealthWrap™ packages can be better hidden on doorsteps, as they are only as big as the product wrapped and package thieves are typically on the hunt for traditional cardboard packages.

stack of four packages wrapped with black stealthwrap shrink film

Advantages of StealthWrap™ to the Online Retailer

Advantages of StealthWrap™ to the Customer

  • Tamper Evident Packaging

  • Discreet to Potential Thieves

  • Less Packaging to Dispose

  • Improved Brand Interaction

The Value of Discreet Packaging
  • 47% of Shorr survey respondents purchase items from online stores because they have discreet boxes that do not indicate the contents.[1]
  • 54% of Millennials surveyed indicated they purchase items in discreet boxes to prevent theft.[1]
  • 37% of respondents said they would pay more for an item if it is delivered in discreet packaging.[1]

2. Tamper Evident Packaging: Water-Activated Tape

Water-Activated Tape is a perfect way to combat package theft while the package is in transit. Packages sealed with Water-Activated Tape cannot be opened without leaving a broken seal and clear evidence of tampering. Traditional clear, plastic packaging tapes (polypropylene tapes) do not adhere well to high recycled content cartons, which makes it easy for thieves to open a sealed package, remove contents, and re-close the package. Water-Activated Tape is not affected by extreme hot or cold temperatures and can bond to cartons in dirty/dusty environments.

stack of three packages delivered to front door sealed with water activated tape

Advantages of Water-Activated Tape to the Online Retailer

  • Increased Package Security

  • Increased Package Strength

  • Minimize Worker Injury: Eliminates repetitive strain injuries from use of traditional tape guns.

  • Bonds to High Recycled Content Cartons

  • Reduced Material Waste: Water-Activated Tape Dispensers dispense pre-set lengths of tape.

Advantages of Water-Activated Tape to the Customer

  • Tamper Evident Packaging: Cannot be opened without
    leaving a broken seal.

  • Reduced Package Theft in Transit

  • 100% Recyclable

  • 100% Biodegradable

  • Does Not Interfere with Corrugated Box Recycling Process

Protect Your E-Commerce Customers from Parcel Theft

We know we cannot stop people from stealing packages or it's contents, but there are steps retailers can take to discourage theft. 61 percent of respondents from Shorr's survey said that they felt online retailers are not doing enough to prevent package theft.[1] Speak with one of our knowledgeable Packaging Specialists today to discover how we can help reduce your risk of parcel theft.

  1. "THE 2017 PACKAGE THEFT REPORT: PORCH PIRATES, PURCHASE HABITS, AND PRIVACY.” The 2017 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, and Privacy | Shorr Packaging Corporation, 2017, www.shorr.com/packaging-news/2017-05/2017-package-theft-report-porch-pirates-purchase-habits-and-privacy.

Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.