American consumers (and businesses alike) are facing an uncertain future due to inflation and a possible impending recession. Many Americans’ shopping habits changed over the past few years due to the pandemic and its rippling effects on the economy.
Here at C+R Research, a year later, we’re still interested in how Americans’ shopping habits have continued to change since releasing our 2021 Package Theft Statistics Report.
We surveyed 2,006 Americans to gain additional insights into how they are shopping and spending in 2022. We specifically asked about their online shopping habits, experience with delivery theft, and how inflation continues to impact their budgets.
Online shopping is clearly showing no signs of slowing down. A whopping 90% of survey respondents receive a package delivery at least once per month, with over half (55%) receiving a package weekly.
With many businesses adapting to online shopping since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, it’s no surprise that Americans continue to shop online for the convenience and speed of delivery.
Package Theft Victims
So far in 2022, almost 1 in 7 (14%) Americans have fallen victim to porch pirates – some more than once. Most (67%) have had one package stolen, 22% have had two, and 11% have had three or more stolen.
Over one-third (34%) of Americans know someone who had a package stolen this year, and almost one in five (19%) know a neighbor who had a package stolen. The average value of stolen packages is $112.30.
We found that about half (49%) of those who’ve had a package stolen live in the suburbs; not surprising since 54% of survey respondents live in the suburbs. However, those that live in a city are more likely to be a victim of package theft (39% – higher than the proportion of survey respondents: 29%). Those who live in rural areas are least likely to fall victim to package theft (12% - lower than what they represent in the sample - 17%).
Having a package stolen can be frustrating and confusing for customers, especially when trying to figure out how to replace the stolen goods. When asked if they think delivery companies are doing enough to prevent package thefts, almost half of Americans (48%) say no. And likewise, just about the same proportion (45%) do not believe retailers are doing enough either.
Package Theft Prevention
Even though porch pirates will continue to lurk and steal packages, there are some things you can do to protect your online purchases.
If you know a package is expected to be delivered - be diligent in collecting it as soon as possible to lessen the opportunity for porch pirates to steal it. That’s why most people (60%) keep a close eye on delivery tracking, and 43% sign up for delivery alerts.
Moreover, while about half (51%) stay home when a package is expected to be delivered, others take different preventive approaches, such as installing a camera doorbell, sending the package to their workplace or a relative’s home, or opting to pick up their online order in the store.
Attitudes Toward Package Theft During the Holidays
According to our survey, over one quarter (28%) of Americans say they are shopping more online this year compared to 2021. Historically, the holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for online shopping and package deliveries. And many Americans will undoubtedly order a lot online between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a slew of other sales.
In fact, the majority of Americans (84%) plan to have at least one package delivered this upcoming holiday season, and over a quarter (27%) plan to place more online orders this holiday season than last.
A significant minority (26%) are especially worried about package theft during the holiday season, and 37% of them know someone who’s had a package stolen during the holidays in previous years. It is not surprising that two-thirds (66%) expect porch pirates to strike more after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Package Theft and Inflation
While prices for everything have risen this year and are forecasted to continue increasing, retailers may worry about how much Americans plan to continue shopping online to help their budget.
According to Americans, inflation is making an impact on their online shopping behaviors: they are making fewer purchases (44%), spending less (41%), and to a lesser extent, buying more necessities than luxuries (23%).
Over half (52%) say they will spend less on the holidays this year than last, and some (10%) have lingering debt from the 2021 holiday season that they still need to pay off. And due to inflation, almost one in six (16%) will actually forego purchasing holiday gifts this year.
With the vast majority of Americans planning to have at least one package delivered this holiday season, they need to be prepared for the threat of porch pirates. Taking steps like signing up for text alerts, closely tracking packages, and being at home to receive their packages will help ensure that they do not become another porch pirate victim.
In early September 2022, we surveyed 2,006 Americans to ask about their online shopping and package theft experiences. Respondents were 49% female, 48% male, and 3% transgender/non-binary. The age range was 18 to 84, with an average age of 39 years old. 54% live in the suburbs, 29% live in the city, and 17% live in rural areas.
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