What do you consider to be the most innovative aspects of your offer?
The most innovative aspect of Swapfiets is the service proposition, combined with the ability to provide bicycles in a circular business model.
With its circular business model and membership, Swapfiets combines the advantages of both – owning a bicycle and the sharing economy. Swapfiets provides a long-term monthly bicycle or e-mobility subscription. Members do not need to share their vehicle with anyone; it is their own and can be used any time. But at the same time, Swapfiets members benefit of the full-service offering, that includes hassle-free maintenance and repairs at no additional cost.
What are the most important impacts of your service in terms of sustainability?
Swapfiets has a sustainability impact in two dimensions. First of all, Swapfiets bicycles are designed in a way that allows for best possible re-use of all parts. Besides the steel frame, Swapfiets can re-use most of the parts of a bicycle, allowing each Swapfiets to ‘live many lives’. This way we reduce the ecological footprint of producing bicycles as much as possible.
Plus we transport, wherever possible, Swapfiets on cargo bicycles. Also, one can say that simply by using a Swapfiets (bicycle) people contribute to sustainable means of transportation.
Furthermore, we believe Swapfiets is also sustainable in the way that any Swapfiets you find on the streets actually belongs to one of the Swapfiets members. Compared to the sharing economy offering, Swapfiets does not ‘drop’ a certain number of bicycles on the streets waiting for customers to use them.
Which aspects are particularly interesting from a design perspective?
Swapfiets are designed in a way that is known from software development, constantly reinventing itself. Each version of a Swapfiets has some improvement, whether contributing to sustainability (e.g. thousands of previously battery-powered back lights got exchanged to dynamo back lights), making a part lasting longer or answering to members’ feedback. A good example is also the mudguard on Swapfiets – it’s a little bit shorter than on normal bicycles, helping to make chain repair super quick.
Do you also offer your service digitally?
The whole Swapfiets service is available online, through the Swapfiets mobile app. Additionally, Swapfiets has stores offering a personal, walk-in service centrally located.
What are some interesting numbers about the project?
There are now more than 200,000 customers across all 7 markets, including more than 60,000 in Germany and more than 15,000 in Denmark.
What happens next? What are your goals?
Swapfiets is aiming to further expand to other countries as well as other cities in the markets where Swapfiets is already present. Swapfiets is constantly evolving, listening to what customers need in terms of their means of transportation. This is also one of the reasons, why Swapfiets is offering the Power 7 e-Bike as well as testing a smaller, foldable e-Kick solution and the powerful Swapfiets e-Scoot in selected cities – all available as monthly subscription with the valued Swapfiets service.