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Listening to the Package Theft Problem

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Thanks to modern technology and delivery services like Amazon Prime, Instacart, Postmates and others we can purchase just about anything online and get it delivered to our doorstep, often times within the same day.  Home delivery has become a standard in retail and an incredible convenience for us. The problem arises when packages are delivered, many of them end up on unattended doorsteps or in unlocked mailboxes. It’s created a massive window of opportunity for the so-called “Porch Pirates”.

According to a new survey by Comcast’s Xfinity Home Security System, more than 50% of Americans say they know someone who's had a package stolen from outside their home, and 30% say they've experienced it themselves.

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When looking at search results on Google, we found that the search term for “Stolen Package” has exploded on Google trends over the past 7 years. Given that parcel shipments are estimated to grow more than 10% this year, we can expect this index to continue to rise.

We got curious and decided to look at levels of actual social conversation taking place on the web over the past two years. Using social listening tools, we searched on a mix of keywords and hashtags including “Package theft”, “#Porchpirate” among others to create a topic regarding this widespread and growing crime. We analyzed data from the beginning of January to the end of October in 2016 and this year.

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The results we found showed significant and consistent growth in the levels of conversation around package theft. So far in 2017 there has been a 40% increase in conversation since last year. Everyday there are new victims of package theft who are taking to social media to express their frustration.

Earlier this year, the conversation peaked when the article below was written by John White and published on Inc.com which caught the eyes of millions on the web.

The article discusses some of the implications around package theft and some solutions that are currently out in the market. It created a lot of buzz, generating over 6,000 mentions and accounted for over 60% of the conversation of package theft in June. With the rise of porch piracy and the lack of immediate support from retailers and delivery services, people are looking for solutions. However,  current solutions in the market today are either inconvenient, ineffective or invasive.

In a time when everyone is always on-the-go requesting signatures for deliveries, going to a local UPS store or delivery locker is incredibly inconvenient. Video surveillance solutions, such as those from Ring, Nest, Netgear Arlo and others, allow homeowners to monitor their deliveries but they do not stop porch thieves from walking away with packages. This is best demonstrated by the finding over 5000 videos on YouTube this year from many of these outdoor cameras of packages being stolen. Lastly, solutions like the Amazon Key, which allows strangers to have access to enter homes, are invasive and could give rise to a new kind of crime. We expect few consumers are going to be willing to put the things they already own at risk to protect the things they don’t yet have.

Consumers today are increasingly shopping online through Amazon, Walmart.com, eBay and other retailers to buy stuff that were previously purchased in stores. We believe we’ve built the solution to address the problem of porch piracy in a way that is practical, effective, non-invasive, convenient and secure. We’re excited to bring our product to market by summer of next year.

With BoxLock, you can get your packages delivered safely and securely with the added convenience and flexibility of allowing you to track and monitor all of your deliveries from one place. We recently launched on Indiegogo and you can reserve yours here for a limited time.