Package theft and delivery fraud have risen significantly this year, with the increase in online orders and contactless deliveries giving thieves more opportunity to strike.
While doorstep pirates and cybercriminals aren’t your fault, they cost your business time, money, and reputational damage, as customers look for someone to blame.
Unfortunately, delivery fraudsters and package thieves aren’t going to stop any time soon, so it’s crucial that you implement the best fulfillment services for reducing the risk of fraud and theft happening to your business and customers.
What is delivery fraud and theft?
Criminals are increasingly inventive when it comes to eCommerce, with delivery fraud and theft taking many forms.
Types of delivery fraud
Delivery fraud is when someone benefits from your business falsely or deceitfully. For example:
- Receipt fraud: when a customer wrongfully claims they didn’t receive their order to receive a free replacement or refund.
- Interception fraud: when a criminal places an order using a stolen credit card and intercepts the delivery, redirecting it to their address or posing as a shipping carrier to collect it from the credit card holder’s address.
- Returns fraud: when a customer uses an item before returning it or lies about including a product in a return delivery.
Types of delivery theft
Delivery theft is when someone steals an order during the fulfillment process. For example:
- Doorstep theft: when a porch pirate steals a package from someone’s doorstep, porch, or yard.
- Incorrect address theft: when you deliver a parcel to the wrong address and the recipient wrongfully claims they didn’t receive it.
- Internal theft: when an internal employee or agent of a third party steals a package during the fulfillment process.
The delivery fraud and theft problem
Unfortunately, delivery fraud and theft are spiraling problems, with one in five shoppers becoming a victim. This growth stems from four main reasons.
1. The eCommerce boom
The growth of 24/7 online shopping is increasing online deliveries, especially during the working week when customers aren’t home to receive packages. This is giving thieves more packages to steal and more opportunities to do so.
2. The growth of luxury eCommerce
Shoppers are buying more expensive and high-end products online. This makes packages more attractive to thieves and worth the risk of being caught, especially when branded boxes loudly advertise what’s inside.
3. The use of contactless deliveries
Couriers practicing COVID-19-safe deliveries are leaving orders on the doorstep rather than physically handing them to customers. Contactless deliveries are fine when customers are in to collect the parcel from their doorstep straight away, but if they aren’t home, the package is left in a vulnerable position.
4. The attempt to save costs and increase speeds
With the eCommerce world shipping faster than ever before, some sellers compromise on fulfillment quality to save costs on 2-day and next-day deliveries. This leads to corner-cutting that leads to orders delivered to the wrong address, packages left in an unsafe place, or interception that goes unnoticed.
Tip: Reduce your delivery costs by using a fulfillment service calculator to compare prices and find the best fulfillment company for your online business.
The best fulfillment services for reducing delivery fraud and theft
Delivery fraud and package theft isn’t just an inconvenience to your customers; it’s a potentially fatal threat to your business – taking time and money to rectify while damaging your brand’s reputation. And, if you sell on online marketplaces, the shipping delays caused could disqualify you from fast shipping programs.
Fortunately, there are fulfillment services and strategies to help you eliminate fraud and tackle theft.
Accurate shipping speeds
Accurate shipping speeds allow customers to order items knowing they’ll be in to receive them – instantly removing the opportunity for porch pirates to strike.
When offering accurate shipping speeds, it’s crucial to ensure they’re fast, too. A customer can more easily plan to be in tomorrow or in 2-days, compared to a week away, making them more likely to convert on the spot.
Further reading: How to offer next-day delivery on your listings
Parcel tracking tells you and your customers exactly where an order is in the fulfillment process, to prevent customers or internal agents from fraudulently denying receipt.
Parcel tracking also helps you locate missing orders quickly, reducing the time involved in investigating vanished packages and allowing you to rectify the problem quickly.
Unbranded packaging is far less noticeable than branded packaging, making it far less tempting for porch pirates to steal. Unbranded packaging is also an excellent growth-hack for saving money and increasing shipping speeds.
Intelligent fulfillment software
Inventory management software keeps accurate records of stock levels and inventory locations, allowing you to notice, investigate, and quickly stop any internal theft.
Order management software connected to your shipping label printer ensures you correctly label packages, too, to reduce wrong address theft. If you’re shifting from in-house to outsourced fulfillment, look for a fulfillment company that integrates with your sales channels and systems to pull this information for themselves.
Outsourced fulfillment service
You can easily fall victim to interception and other delivery frauds while you’re busy processing orders and trying to meet fast shipping deadlines.
Outsourcing your deliveries to a fulfillment company means you have experts trained in spotting delivery fraud handling your orders. They also have the time and resources to package items securely and use reliable, trusted carrier services.
Whether you outsource your deliveries to a fulfillment service or work in-house with third-party shipping carriers, it’s crucial to work with a fulfillment company you trust and who doesn’t compromise on quality to save costs.
Always complete due diligence when involving anyone with your online business and ask potential fulfillment companies to provide you with:
- Customer reviews and feedback
- Details of their anti-fraud and theft measures
- Information on theft insurance and policies
- Details on how they vet their partner warehouses
It can be heartbreaking when your business and customers experience delivery fraud and theft, especially if you lose money and reputation in the process.
We hope these fulfillment services help you find the best fulfillment company for keeping your business strong in the fight against thieves and fraudsters, protecting your customers and making your packages less of a target.