Multifamily

How to Prevent Package Theft This Holiday Season

The 2021 holiday shopping season is already well underway and poised to break records for online sales. Deloitte expects holiday e-commerce sales to grow by 11-15% year-over-year, generating up to $218 billion this season – topping $200 billion for the first time1. This should come as no surprise since, as Adobe reports, consumers will spend more than $86 billion on holiday shopping using their smartphones – a 16.6% increase over last year – and the average US consumer will spend at least 12 hours shopping online this holiday season2.

But with more packages comes more opportunities for porch pirates to steal packages. In fact, a recent survey by Accenture estimates that 77% of consumers want their online purchases delivered to their homes3. This compounds an already significant increase in home deliveries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with a surveillance camera, a recently delivered package in plain sight is an easy target for a thief who wants to engage in porch piracy.

Property managers should expect to manage significantly more packages this holiday season as residents opt to avoid stores and shop online. Communities could potentially see as many as 486 package deliveries per week during the holiday season4. This is important for multifamily communities to be aware of as the number of packages they receive typically increases from an average of 150 packages per week to 270 packages per week during the holiday season – an 81% increase even during “normal” times5.

Let’s take a look how holiday shoppers can prevent package theft this holiday season with the following safety tips:

Package Theft is a Major Issue

With the increase in packages comes an increase in porch piracy and package theft incidences. From March to July of last year, 1 in 5 Americans reported having had a package or delivered item stolen. And the majority of package theft – 40% – occurs at apartment communities. While package theft is a major nuisance for consumers, it also has financial repercussions. In fact, Americans report losing an average of $106 to porch piracy, and about 30% report not receiving any financial reimbursement for their loss. Sadly, less than half of Americans reported that their porch pirates were caught by their local police department6.  

Smart Lockers Fight Porch Piracy

To prevent package theft as well as mail theft, many properties place resident packages and mail into the property office for safekeeping until residents come to pick them up. However, more than one-third of property managers report that their communities’ package room solutions are not adequate during high volume periods, such as the holiday season. Looking for package theft prevention solutions so you won’t become a package theft victim? This is where innovative proptech solutions, such as Parcel Pending’s smart package lockers, come into play. 

Parcel Pending offers a wide range of solutions that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages and online orders. Our electronic lockers help property managers enhance their residents’ overall experiences, save valuable staff time, and drive resident retention. 

Why are smart lockers the best solution to fight package theft? Unlike cameras, parcel lockers provide physical protection and security for packages, not just a deterrent that may or may not be effective. Parcel lockers in residential communities also provide residents with 24/7 access to packages where they live, so residents don’t have to go offsite or rearrange their schedules to wait for couriers or scheduled delivery services.

The way Parcel Pending works is simple. Recipients receive delivery alerts by text, email, or via a mobile app when they have a package delivery. Once the notification is received, the recipient can pick up the package using the unique code provided in the notification, or by using our mobile app. Property managers do not need to sign for, sort, or distribute packages to residents. Instead, our multifamily locker solutions provide a secure, fast, and easy way for residents to retrieve their own packages at their convenience.

Although many Americans are working from home or spending much more time at home, the reality is that they may not always hear the doorbell or delivery truck. Sometimes residents may be on a conference call, cooking, running a quick errand outside of the home, or otherwise occupied and they may not be aware that their package or delivery has arrived on their doorstep. Smart lockers give them (and property managers) peace of mind knowing that their package will be safe and secure until they can retrieve it from the locker. 

Residents value the fact that parcel lockers keep their packages safe and secure. Additional smart locker benefits include:

  • Contact-free pick-up: Scan the barcode in the delivery notification or push a button in the mobile app
  • Efficient: Streamlines delivery process; flexible solutions reduce space needed to accept deliveries
  • Advanced: Flexible API allows for seamless integration with property management software systems
  • Weatherproof: Durable lockers protect packages from sun, rain, wind, and snow
  • Accessible: Multi-sized lockers accept most package sizes; ADA compliance supports any user
  • Versatile: Multiple locker sizes to accept most packages
  • Mobile-friendly: Receive delivery alerts, manage packages, and retrieve deliveries with your smartphone
  • Customizable: Custom configurations, color options, or wraps to match property aesthetics or branding

Video Doorbell Cameras & Other Security Measures

When it comes to preventing package theft, property managers and/or residents can also opt to install a video doorbell security camera to monitor the front door or other home security surveillance systems on their front porch. This can potentially help deter a package thief.

Tap into the BOPIS Trend

Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) helps to avoid the threat of porch pirates altogether. Residents may want to consider BOPIS as their go-to shopping method this holiday season to steer clear of any package theft incidents. In fact, during the 2020 holiday season, curbside pickup accounted for 1 in 5 orders in November and 1 in 4 orders in December; Adobe reports that use of this service will peak on December 22-23 in 2021, with the potential to surpass 40% of all online orders. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that 53% of retailers are expecting BOPIS to play an increasing role in their business, according to a Digital Commerce 360 survey7

Holiday Theft Prevention Tips to Deter Package Theft

  • Choose signature delivery. When possible, select “signature required” so that you can be sure to receive your package and avoid theft.
  • Use a courier hub. There are many different locker hubs available nationwide that accept packages and deliveries from all types of retailers and e-commerce companies. 
  • Enlist a trusted neighbor to help. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for your package and retrieve it immediately upon delivery (if possible). Provide your neighbor with an estimated delivery date and time so that he or she can monitor your valuable items accordingly.
  • Deliver packages to your office (if you’re still working in an office). You can easily send packages to your place of work for a safer delivery option.
  • Sign up for delivery alerts. It is always helpful to sign-up for delivery alerts via text or email so that you can track your package in real-time and be ready to retrieve it upon its delivery to your doorstep.
  • Extend package pick-up hours. Community managers can offer extended common area package pick-up hours to help prevent package theft and ensure safe package delivery.
  • Package hold. If you’re going out of town for a few days, your local post office or carrier store will hold your mail and packages until you can pick them up or resume home delivery. You just have to sign up for the service online.
  • Reschedule delivery. If you’re not going to be home when your package is expected to arrive, contact the carrier and reschedule delivery.

Additional Holiday Safety/Crime Prevention Tips

  • Keep packages out of sight when shopping. When you’re at the mall don’t keep your shopping bags full of holiday gifts or any valuables in plain sight in your car, for example in the back seat of your car. Rather, lock your packages and valuable items in the trunk of your car.
  • Don’t be an easy target for criminals. To keep criminals at bay, hide your wallet in your inside coat pocket and carry your purse close to your body.
  • Park your vehicle close to the mall. Find a well-lit parking space as close to the mall as possible. If you can’t find one right away, keep trying even though it may take longer to park.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you notice any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to local law enforcement immediately. You might just help police catch a burglar.
  • Protect your identity. Many online holiday shoppers fall victim to identity theft or fraud. To protect your personal information, you should use unique, hard-to-guess passwords for all your financial accounts and also turn on multi-factor authentication. In addition, don’t use public Wi-Fi, especially during the holidays. Although public Wi-Fi is convenient, it’s not secure and as such bad actors can hack into your laptop or mobile device and gain access to your personal information, including your credit card number, usernames, and passwords.
  • Use a credit card not a debit card. Your credit card offers you much more protection if a criminal were to acquire your card number and personal information. A debit card, on the other hand, is directly linked to your bank account, putting your money at risk. With that in mind, be sure to monitor your credit card activity – especially during the holiday months. 

While there are many ways to prevent package theft, the best solution is a parcel locker. 

The holidays are just around the corner. Many properties already have a lot on their plates providing much-needed services for residents. Managing even more packages could take up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Parcel Pending lockers can help make receiving those special holiday deliveries safer and more secure for residents without sacrificing convenience. Reach out to a member of our team today to find the best solution for your property’s needs and budget.

Sources:

  1. Deloitte. (2021, September 14). Deloitte: Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Increase 7-9% [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/footerlinks/pressreleasespage.html?icid=bottom_pressreleasespage&q=*&sp_x_18=content-type&sp_s=date-published-d%7Ctitle&sp_q_18=%22Press%20releases%22
  2. Adobe. (2021). Adobe Holiday Shopping Forecast [Report]. Retrieved from: https://business.adobe.com/resources/holiday-shopping-report.html
  3. Accenture, “Most U.S. Shoppers Want Retailers to Close on Thanksgiving Day, Accenture Survey Reveals,” Available at: https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/most-us-shoppers-want-retailers-to-close-on-thanksgiving-day-accenture-survey-reveals.htm
  4. Parcel Pending. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime Day – Post-Pandemic Holiday Shopping Expected to Result in Record Package Volume. (2020, September 4). https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/black-friday-cyber-monday-prime-day-post-pandemic-holiday-shopping-expected-to-result-in-record-package-volume/.
  5. National Multifamily Housing Council. (2018, November 14). Special Delivery: 2018 NHMC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www.nmhc.org/news/
  6. ValuePenguin.com. (2020, July 9). Survey Finds 1 in 5 Americans Were Victims of Porch Pirates Since the Start of COVID-19 Stay-Home Orders [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www.prnewswire.com/news/valuepenguin.com/
  7. Digital Commerce 360, “US online sales rise 43% amid pandemic in September,” Available at: https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/