Worries About Package Theft Deter Some Digital Shoppers

Electronics and collectibles are a point of concern

Author: Monica Melton

June 23, 2017

For many consumers, the fear of package theft is enough to keep them from buying certain products online.

According to a study by Shorr Packaging, package theft is widespread, with 31% of the survey respondents saying they had had a package stolen some time in the past year.

The bad news for merchants is that most consumers consider retailers at least partially to blame: Some 61% said retailers weren’t doing enough to prevent package theft.

Electronics and collectibles topped the list of what shoppers said they had avoided buying online thanks to concern about package theft. Few expressed concern about expensive items like jewelry and art, but that presumably reflects the fact that luxury goods are still in the early stage of ecommerce sales.

For online retailers, the security of packages is another wrinkle in the effort to win consumer confidence in ecommerce, and in some ways it is a sign of a maturing market. In the early days of ecommerce, fears of credit card security were paramount. As confidence grew in the financial security of buying online, some consumers worried about the sanctity of their personal information.

Now, perhaps, the major concern is that a box will be swiped off the porch.

An IAB study from late 2016 that compared consumer attitudes in the US and China highlights the some of the lingering worries that may prevent consumers from buying online. In the US, more shoppers were concerned about touching/seeing products than those who worried about financial or personal information security.