Just wanted to post one last update for this project. We have delivered all bikes sold during this campaign as promised.
During this campaign, we shipped over 700 bikes in 80+ variants (size, colours, style, motor). This was a huge learning experience for us and we have all improved in one way or the other. Thank you again for bearing with us.
Here are a few things we learnt and a few challenges that we overcame:
1. Offered way too many variants. 80+ variants - can you imagine. This was just INSANE of us to offer this. In hindsight, we should have probably just offered 10 or so variants. We learnt very quickly that with many variants, customers get decision fatigued and can change their mind on colours - quickly throwing a wrench on our production planning. I wont take names, but you know who you are - the one that changed colour, size and style on us 18 times before we could ship your bike.
2. Being too flexible - we have been very flexible and tried to accomodate most customers' requests. Most of you have been very reasonable and understanding and thank you for not making us do a whole lot of extra work. However, there were a few customers that made too many changes too many times in regard to what needs to ship when and where which did cause a whole lot of logistical nightmare.
3. Did not factor in the magnitude of covid related inflation into the campaign pricing: we did have a buffer of 10-12% for overage and unexpected expenses. However, Covid-19 inflation is just insane. The time we were shipping IGG bikes, the following things happened:
- Shipping container prices from Asia to Canada went from $3000USD to $25,000USD
- Fedex and local carrier prices went up 15%
- Aluminum and raw material prices went up 50%, forcing our suppliers to pass that on to us
- Availability of bike parts went from hard-to-get to impossible-to-get. Lead times went from 60days to 600+ days forcing us to make parts substitutions
4. Did not educate customers on the difference between a traditional purchase and an Indiegogo pledge. While we tried to educate many people, still a lot of supporters didn't know what the difference is between purchasing an item in stock on a website vs pledging on Indiegogo. Due to this, we had over 5700 interactions with customers flooding our customer support team each time there was a small delay.
5. Pledges being made from multiple names, emails, phone numbers and addresses for items that go to the same person. This was one we did not anticipate but caused a lot of delay because we had to manually double check each pledge and make sure that someone who pledged for a 750W duo didn't pay for an upgrade to an Ultra Duo using a different email/contact info. While this sounds simple enough to track, it wasn't. This was a huge pain for backend processing.
6. Shipping bikes to some countries in the EU costs more than the bike. This was a tough lesson to learn that some EU countries were strongly against importing items. Especially with batteries. This resulted in us cancelling about 7 pledges shipping out to certain EU countries.
7. Lack of a robust ERP system on the backend makes everything more challenging. Unfortunately, Indiegogo platform doesn't readily integrate with many ERPs. Due to this, we had to go through a lot of manual work to make sure our pledges were delivered correctly. We have since rolled out a robust ERP system which has made us much better at processing orders faster and correctly.
There are a few other things, but these were the most pressing.
If you are not already part of our owners' group, I urge you to. It's a fun group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1136802453086982
Here are some pictures that you've sent and shared with us. Thank you for sharing these.
Several of you have sent us 100s of messages with your rides and new experiences. We want to thank you for making Biktrix part of your life and giving us this opportunity to serve you. We are overwhelmed and humbled when we look back at the past few months and think of the gravity of trust that you have placed on us.
Thanks again! Check out the Indiegogo project page to review the whole process!