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Combating porch piracy during the holiday season

Illustration of a person away from a door holding a package. In the center is the Corso logo.

It’s that time of year again when porch pirates are on the lookout for unattended packages. 

According to SafeWise, around 260 million packages vanished from porches across the US. over the past 12 months. With the continued increase in online shopping, porch pirates are not slowing down. 

As an e-commerce merchant, when packages vanish customers hold you accountable. Even though it wasn’t your fault, the customer will expect you to make it right – and failure to do so can result in unhappy non-returning customers. To make your life easier and save your business money, here are a few ideas on how to combat porch piracy during the holiday season.

Provide various shipping options

With the holiday season keeping everyone busy, rather than second-guessing, it’s best to offer a variety of flexible shipping options to your customers. From same-day, two-day, and standard delivery to Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS). 

By offering various options, customers can select delivery timeframes that work best for them and when they know they will be home to receive the package. On any standard delivery options, it’s important to give estimated delivery dates at the checkout so the customer knows when they can expect their package to arrive. This not only makes them more likely to complete their purchase and reduce the number of abandoned carts but also means the customer will be on the lookout when delivery day comes, reducing the risk of porch piracy.

Additionally, managing the customer’s expectations upfront is a great way to build their confidence and loyalty to your brand. For higher ticket items, you may even add a mandated signature delivery service where the package must be signed for at the delivery location. This means the package is never left unattended on the porch, eliminating any opportunity for porch pirates.

It’s important to note that there is very little room for error in the delivery process. 84% of shoppers state they would not shop with a brand again following a poor delivery experience. With so much in the hands of the courier, it’s important to choose your courier carefully and ensure they are carrying out deliveries on time to keep your customers happy.

Use discreet packaging 

Packaging also plays an important role when it comes to porch piracy. Large boxes with excessive branding and text stand out like a sore thumb on any porch. Of course, some items require larger boxes, but for smaller items, choosing the correct sized packaging will help the package to be more discreet and reduce shipping costs. 

Use tracking email and SMS notifications 

Communication is key at every stage of the customer journey, but with porch pirates looming, we would say the delivery stage could be the most important. 

Tracking notifications help customers to know when a package is going to be delivered, so they can ensure they are home to receive it. This decreases the chances of a package being stolen from their doorstep and gives customers peace of mind, knowing that their package is on its way and will arrive soon. The increased communication also helps to enhance brand loyalty, as it shows your business is going the extra mile to keep your customers informed and up to date on the exact whereabouts of their precious package. 

Many services will send these notifications out for you if your e-commerce platform doesn’t have the functionality natively. Be sure to enable a notification letting customers know their package has shipped, when it’s out for delivery, and when it‘s been delivered. Adding in extra notifications such as delivery exceptions, delays, or customs issues can also provide a better experience for your customers. Leverage both email and SMS to make sure the customer doesn’t miss the notification.

Offer shipping protection at the checkout 

Consumers are starting to expect the option to add shipping protection to their orders for a small additional fee. This gives your customers peace of mind knowing that if their order is stolen, they will be able to get a replacement or refund immediately, hassle-free. Many consumers, especially in large cities, value the option to add shipping protection to their orders. 

This typically doesn’t cost your business anything and can increase revenue when the re-orders are done at full MSRP. Shipping protection also covers lost and damaged shipments – not only porch pirates. There are many shipping protection services out there, but not all are created equal. Be sure to find one that fits your business and puts your brand priorities first. 

Corso’s Green Shipping Protection not only covers lost, damaged, or stolen items, but also ensures the customer is taken care of with a full resolution within 24 hours of claim submission. We pride ourselves on denying as few claims as possible and making it simple and seamless for customers and merchants to submit claims. Our new Gorgias integration allows CX reps to submit claims from the customer’s help ticket in under 10 seconds, streamlining the claims process.

As a merchant, there is only so much you can do to make sure your packages aren’t stolen from your customers’ doorsteps, but you can make sure that you are protecting your brand and supporting your customers if it does happen. Effectively communicating with your customers on delivery times, sending tracking updates, and offering extra protection will help reduce porch piracy’s impact on your brand this holiday season.

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