How to Prevent E-Commerce Shipping Theft of Luxury Goods

Theft Prevention in Luxury Shipping

If your company sells luxury goods like cosmetics, handbags, higher-end apparel and other costly items online, you face unique shipping challenges. In particular, theft is an issue that can take a bite out of your profits.

Luxury Goods: A Market Experiencing Tremendous Growth

The luxury goods market is one that is growing at a healthy pace, and there is no end in sight. According to Statista’s Luxury Goods Report, online luxury sales are “projected to grow at twice the market rate and capture 18% of all sales revenue by 2023.”

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One of the groups driving this growth is millennials. Forbes reports that millennials are not just the most powerful consumers right now, they are also luxury goods shoppers, noting that “millennials and Generation Z account for nearly 50% of Gucci’s total sales.” Much of that buying occurs online. A Euclid study revealed that “almost half (48%) of millennials shop in-store at least once per week.” But those in-person shopping sessions do not always lead to the checkout counter. Instead, they spur online buying. 

To ensure that they are able to offer a seamless multi-channel shopping experience, luxury brands must boost their e-commerce investments. One way to do that is to offer fast and free shipping. That is not a revolutionary idea, but it is an important tactic, as unexpected shipping costs are one of the main reasons people abandon their shopping cart.

In order to provide that benefit, it is important to avoid the significant expenses associated with product theft.


How Water-Activated Tape Helps Luxury Product Companies Address Security Concerns

Theft from packages and theft of packages are both major concerns for American consumers. The first often occurs as what is sometimes referred to as a press-and-grab theft. The criminal presses down on the top of the shipping carton, the weak tape yields, and the criminal pulls products out of the box. The box flaps then spring back up, leaving the theft undetected until later.

So-called “porch pirates” are responsible for the second type of theft. Millions of Americans every year have packages stolen off their front porch or out of their mailbox. Porch pirates tend to target packages that appear to contain high-value items.

What’s the best way to prevent a press-and-grab theft? Ensure that the shipping carton is securely sealed. Some types of tape create a very surface-level seal that is easy to break. Water-activated tape (also called WAT, Kraft paper tape, or brown paper tape), on the other hand, actually fuses with the carton material to form a theft-deterring bond. Make no mistake: thieves always look to take the “path of least resistance,” and a WAT-sealed package definitely is not it!

How can you reduce the risk that a shipment will fall victim to porch pirates? That involves a decision about how important it is for your company to display branding on the external packaging.


To Brand a Carton or Not to Brand a Carton?

One of WAT’s many benefits is that it can be printed with branding that promotes your company. However, that beautiful branding may not only catch the eye of consumers; but thieves as well. Consequently, if your company sells luxury products, you have a decision to make. While you want to provide a premium shopping experience for your customers, you want to be sure that they receive your shipments. 

One way to achieve both your security and marketing goals is to address them sequentially. First, ship your products in plain packaging with no visible branding. This forces thieves to make a guess about which packages to grab and increases the odds that yours will be ignored. Second, focus your marketing efforts on what your customers see when they open the outer packaging. Create the “Wow!” factor they’re looking for by making the internal packing a feast for the eyes.   

This two-step approach helps luxury goods companies both avoid theft-related costs and impress customers.


Learn More and Try WAT for Free

Wondering if water-activated tape (which is available in Kraft beige and white) can help your organization make luxury product shipments more secure? Learn more about WAT, request a free WAT sample, and contact us at your convenience.

We’re happy to talk with you about your shipping requirements and ways to meet them.

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