Dutch manufacturer VanMoof saw a significant number of its bikes get damaged during deliveries, so it devised a simple packaging hack hat made a huge difference.
The company, which exports bicycles overseas, was able to reduce delivery damages by 70-80% by simply making the boxes appear to be containing a flatscreen television, reported The Independent.
— Jason Gay (@jasongay) September 4, 2016
Shipping handlers began treating the packages more carefully after the clever printing of a TV on the boxes, masking the bikes as fragile packages.
VanMoof co-founder Taco Carlier told The Independent:
“We came up by the idea because we had lots of damage, especially with shipments in the USA.
“In the end our whole store in Brooklyn was filled up with refurbished bikes that were damaged on shipments and we had to sell them with a discount.
“Our team sat together and we imagined that couriers would be more careful with packages if they knew even more precious goods were in them. As our boxes are exactly the size of a huge flatscreen television, we decided to print a television on them. It works great. In the USA damaged goods were even reduced by 70 to 80 per cent.”
Understandably, the strategy was kept a secret as once the cover is blown, delivery handlers might treat them as ordinary packages again. However, a Twitter leak exposed their brilliant idea and VanMoof made an announcement on Facebook confirming it.
The company wrote: “Here at VanMoof HQ we’re all about making tiny hacks that have a huge impact.”
Bex Rad, the company’s creative director, wrote a blog post explaining their solution titled “Our secret’s out.” She explained that the company had to take necessary steps to stop the loss due to damages in a bid to increase online sales revenue.
“With a big hairy goal to sell 90 per cent of our bikes online by 2020, we had to find a fix,” she said.
“Since we started shipping bikes eight years ago, we’ve struggled to find shipping partners that give our bikes the same obsessive love and care that we do,” Rad wrote. “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.”
In the end of her post, she wrote a plea: “Just don’t tell FedEx.”