Are smart homes smart enough to foil package thieves?
With e-commerce’s rapid expansion, so grow the number of incidents of packages being stolen from consumers’ doorsteps.
According to a survey from Comcast, three in ten Americans who live in houses or townhomes have been victims of package theft. And 53 percent know someone who has had a package stolen from outside their home.
The survey was released timed to the launch of Comcast’s Xfinity Home 24/7 video recording service. The camera is controlled by artificial intelligence to record movement so that a home owner can view suspicious activity outside their home through an app.
Eighty-five percent of those surveyed felt smart home security cameras would be an effective deterrent to would-be thieves. Still, Daniel Herscovici, SVP and GM of Xfinity Home, admitted in a statement, “There is no silver bullet solution for the package theft problem.”
A study last year from August Home, a provider of smart locks and home access products, found that the majority of packages are stolen during the day when homeowners are out (74 percent) and that theft victims spend close to $200 to replace each stolen package.
About one in four (28 percent) commented that it would be ideal if delivery services could leave packages directly inside their home. If their homes had smart locks and doorbell cameras, the respondents were much more open to seeing a delivery person inside their home (50 percent overall homeowners; 70 percent package theft victims). They were equally interested in speaking to the delivery person during an in-house drop off and remotely locking the door afterwards.
Smart mailboxes represent a third IoT option for protecting packages. Smart mailboxes are storage units that secure the delivery of packages while also protecting them from the elements. Couriers unlock the box by scanning the package tracking barcode via an embedded scanner.
Beyond IoT, packages can be tracked nearly in real-time in many cases and rerouted or rescheduled to help ensure someone is available to accept a package. In the August Home survey, many package theft victims had stayed home (49 percent) when expecting deliveries.
- Survey: Nearly One-Third of Americans Have Had Packages Stolen from Their Doorsteps – Comcast
- Research: Package Theft Report – August Home
- Will customers give Amazon the keys to their smart homes? – RetailWire
- Can retailers overcome the challenges of urban deliveries? – RetailWire
- Amazon has plans to deliver packages to car trunks – RetailWire
- Tired Of Getting Your Packages Stolen? Here’s What To Do – Inc.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see smart cameras, smart locks or smart mailboxes providing the best deterrent to the theft of packages on doorsteps? Are stolen packages a major pain point for e-commerce and is there much retailers can do about it?