Why ‘Porch Pirates’ Are Causing Online Retail Giants to Look for Innovative New Solutions

As online retail giants like Amazon continue to grow in terms of their offerings, more and more of us are taking advantage of online shopping, despite not necessarily being available to wait in for deliveries or receive them at work.

Porch Piracy

This has led to a rise in a phenomenon known as ‘porch piracy‘, where opportunistic thieves look out for online shopping deliveries that have been left outside homes while their intended recipients are out. Porch pirates have been caught on camera all over the world, and there is plenty of video footage on the web of them sneaking off with packages that are not theirs.

Theft isn’t the only concern when it comes to receiving things ordered online when you aren’t there to receive them. Sometimes, packages get damaged by more natural causes, like the weather or animals.

This is understandably a problem for retailers, as well as customers. Retailers want to be able to offer customers the convenience of ordering online without having to ensure someone is there to take in the parcel. However, they also want to prevent their customers getting frustrated because, due to theft, it seems like their package never arrived, or it did but was left somewhere where it got damaged.

The Current Solutions

Offering priority delivery services that allow you to choose the day your package will arrive is something many companies who sell their products online have been offering for a while now. This is helpful for many shoppers. Being able to request delivery on a Saturday or Sunday enables a lot of people to receive their shopping when they will be at home, though this does still mean waiting in for it to arrive.

Some businesses offer to delivery items to a specified local convenience store that offers this service. This can be a great option because the customer can simply collect their delivery any time when the store is open. Store click & collect works very well for a lot of busy people – provided they have somewhere near to them that offers the service.

Another thing retailers like Amazon do is allow you to specify special delivery instructions, which can be passed to the courier, such as leaving the parcel with a neighbor or hiding it in a certain place.

Future Solutions in Development

While some of these options do offer better solutions than leaving items customers have ordered exposed to the elements and thieves, naturally, companies like Amazon who thrive on innovation are trying to do better.

As reported recently by, Amazon is working with a development company called Phrame who have a solution that they say will enable items to be delivered into user’s cars, based on security involving their license plates.

Exactly how this will work remains to be seen. Obviously, the e-commerce giant has to keep their planned features and developments under wraps, but this could well offer a new way to receive goods when you are not at home.

A development like this could prove revolutionary for online retailers. Receiving goods will become more convenient and secure, thus avoiding many of the things that put some consumers off online shopping.

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