A cycling company that was seeing a high number of its bikes getting damaged during deliveries has seemingly solved the problem by making a simple change: printing a flatscreen television screen on the boxes.
By masking its bikes as TVs, VanMoof, a Dutch manufacturer that exports bikes to customers overseas, has seen the damages reduced by 70-80 per cent.
Taco Carlier, the co-founder of VanMoof, 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.”
Creative director of the company, Bex Rad, revealed the solution in a blog post titled “Our secret’s out”, in which she said the company had to take action to reduce the damages in order to meet an ambitious target to increase online sales.
Ms Rad wrote: “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. 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 per cent of our bikes online by 2020, we had to find a fix.”
While VanMoof had initially hoped to keep the solution a secret, it announced it publicly in a Facebook post after it was leaked on Twitter. In the post the company wrote: “Here at VanMoof HQ we’re all about making tiny hacks that have a huge impact.”
The news provoked a positive reaction online, with people describing the idea as “brilliant” and “insanely clever”.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies