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Biking is one of the key modes of transportation to build a pollution-free and clean environment. And in countries like the Netherlands, everything happens on a bike! Notably, the government of the Netherlands is pretty supportive and has laid a vast network of paths for bikes and cycles. Also, there are numerous startups offering bikes on rent. With so much around, there is no doubt that biking is one of the main transport in the country.
Well, one of the subscription bike services that has revolutionised the bicycle industry is Swapfiets. This Dutch startup was founded in 2014 by three young entrepreneurs studying at Delft University. The startup is in news again as it has witnessed exponential growth of late.
World’s largest subscription bike service
Swapfiets has grown immensely popular and has reached the milestone of 100,000 customers. Notably, it has become the world’s largest subscription bike service with this vast customer base. Since its inception, this service has grown by 500% every year. And, in 2017, it ended with 20,000 subscriptions. Now, in two years, it has grown five folds!
“Winning the 100,000th customer is an important milestone in our young history. Blue Bike Swap tires are now no longer clear thinking and have the streets permanently changed,” said Steven Uitentuis, director of Bike Swap.
Here’s what worked for Swapfiets
Swapfiets has hit the right point that has contributed to its success. Well, the subscription bike service has addressed the unique needs of users to make it popular and the company also offers users with a quality bike for a fixed monthly subscription fee. Let’s take a look at how Swapfiets is different from its competition and what’s the main reason behind the startup’s success in the last couple of years.
#1 No upfront cost
Swapfiets subscription is available for €15 per month and for students its just €12. This monthly subscription fee bundles service, repairs, an extra lock, working bike lights and theft insurance. The subscription is flexible and can be cancelled on a monthly basis. There is upfront cost such as deposit or startup cost.
#2 Free repairs
Well, the Netflix-like subscription model comes with bundled benefits. It offers free repairs for users whenever they face a defect such as a flat tire. In such scenarios, the service will send a bicycle mechanic to the spot within twelve hours. Also, users will get another functional bike.
#3 Functional app
In 2018, Swapfiets introduced an app for the Android and iOS platform. It is a functional app that lets users schedule an appointment to get their bike repaired at their home or visit the physical store for the purpose. In case, the bike is stolen, users can schedule a swap bike from the app itself. It is also possible to find the route to the nearest Swapstore to resolve the issues they face. It lets users pin the location of their bike and never lose it again.
The company keeps the users’ concern in mind and works accordingly. Its policy is such that the customers do not go without a bike for over 2 days even if it was stolen. Undoubtedly, its user-centric policy and services have made it successful.
Swapfiets is already active in 30 European cities including The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, Delft, Den Bosch, The Hague, Ede, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Haarlem, Hengelo, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht, Wageningen, Zwolle), Belgium (Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven), Germany (Bremen, Göttingen, Hanover, Münster, Oldenburg) and Denmark (Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus).
How to use?
Well, the bikes from the Dutch startups are quite unique and are designed by the Swapfiets team along with the bicycle brand Union & Cycletech and have a blue front wheel to make it stand out from others. All the bikes also come with two locks and the keys are unique, meaning that one set of keys cannot unlock other Swapfiets bikes, so it feels as if it’s your own. Those interested, just need to sign-up online, choose the city where you want a Swap bike and make an appointment and get the bike.
Have you used a Swapfiets before? Do share your experience in the comments section below.
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