Since we started shipping bikes eight years ago, here at VanMoof we’ve struggled to find shipping partners that give our bikes the same obsessive love and care that we do.
Trust us, we’ve tried them all.
The big ones.
The niche ones.
The expensive ones.
The start-up-ey ones.
Yet no matter who was doing the shipping, too many of our bikes arrived looking like they’d been through a metal-munching combine harvester. It was getting expensive for us, and bloody annoying for our customers.
With a big hairy goal to sell 90% of our bikes online by 2020, we had to find a fix. Anyone in the ecom world knows you’re only as good as your shipping partner. Your covetable products, your frictionless website, your killer brand — they all count for nothing when your delivery partner drops the ball.
Earlier this year our co-founder Ties had a flash of genius. Our boxes are about the same size as a (really really reaaaally massive) flatscreen television. Flatscreen televisions always arrive in perfect condition. What if we just printed a flatscreen television on the side of our boxes?
And just like that, shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70–80%.
As we go from tiny Amsterdam bike-maker to global city-cycling company, this bike box hack has got us thinking about the power of small tweaks with disproportionate impact.
Could we use them to make Brooklyn safer and smarter for cyclists, bring more diversity to city cycling in Berlin, or put more Amsterdam bike thieves out of business?
We were hoping to keep this small tweak quiet, but thanks to Twitter, the secret’s out.
Just don’t tell FedEx.