Are photos of packages on doorsteps helpful?
Amazon’s drivers are increasingly taking pictures of where they put the packages they deliver and even including the images in delivery notifications sent to customers.
The snapshots help in three ways:
- Theft reduction: Drivers can let the recipient know where to find packages that they hide behind shrubs or flower pots to make a package less visible to thieves;
- Further proof of arrival/condition for consumers: While notifications are one step, an image provides further proof to consumers of when the package arrives and in what condition. The recipient can even show another household member an image of the package in case they grabbed it by mistake;
- Internal lost-package resolution: With the images, drivers can prove they dropped off the package at the correct address in good condition. On its website, Amazon Logistics said it “may look at delivery photos to troubleshoot what happened to a package.”
According to a report from USA Today, Amazon’s Photo on Delivery program has existed for at least six months, but the delivery device and app was recently updated so all Amazon Logistics drivers can take a picture. The program is currently available in select markets, including Oregon, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and the Northern Virginia metro areas.
Writing for USA Today, Elizabeth Weise said receiving images of your front porch on your smartphone can be “kind of creepy, especially if customers don’t realize delivery drivers have been taking these photos.” Previously, the customer could only find the photo by searching on their Amazon account and order history.
The images are uploaded directly to the cloud and don’t stay on the driver’s phone. Customers can opt out of the service.
Photo on Delivery comes as “porch piracy,” or theft of packages from front stoops, is on the rise. Some solutions to reduce package thefts include smart locks that enable delivery personal to leave packages inside homes, AI-supported video cameras that enable home owners to view suspicious activity outside their home through an app, and smart mailboxes that act as storage units that sit outside of homes.
- About AMZL Photo on Delivery – Amazon
- Why Amazon is sending you pictures of your front porch – USA Today
- Amazon is taking photos of your front door to show when packages have been delivered – The Verge
- Smart home partnership opens doors to more in-home delivery – RetailWire
- Are smart homes smart enough to foil package thieves? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Where do you see the benefits from Amazon’s Photo on Delivery program? Would it make sense for other major carriers as well? Do you see better solutions for reducing “porch piracy”?