Lugging luggage around an unfamiliar city is one of travel's less enjoyable moments. Especially with a nighttime flight, bags can quickly dampen the spirit of one last day in a place. And when the day becomes organized around how easy it is to carry the bags around, the bags really do become a burden.
Even for locals out for a day of shopping, an excess of bags is never pleasant. Sure, it's a 'first world problem.' But it's a problem that can easily be solved by technology on a mobile phone. This is what Knock Knock City set out to accomplish, connecting local business owners with spare space to people who want to store items for the day.
Founder Selin Sonmez sat with the Travel is Your Business team to discuss her startup's approach to building this new two-sided marketplace.
Show notes from Mouth Media
Daily bag and luggage storage as part of the sharing economy…
Every year, millions of travelers have the same experience when they check out of their AirBnB: what do they do with their luggage when trying to take in the sights on their last day of the trip? This is the story of someone who had to leave a street-wide amount of luggage under a staircase while traveling, and how they turned that into a business venture — “an AirBnB for luggage.”
Selin Sonmez, Co-founder of Knock Knock City, a storage network connecting travelers, commuters and urbanites to nearby local shops that brings the sharing economy to short-term storage of luggage and personal Items, joins hosts John Matson (VoyagerHQ), Nick Vivion (tnooz), and Brandon McKenzie (MetroButler) in the MouthMedia Network studios in New York, powered by Sennheiser.
In this episode:
- Why AirBnBs for luggage are bubbling up suddenly, including because of how established AirBnB has become, the shared economy mindset, and how it is becoming an instinct to shareHow the fact that Knock Knock City is working with local shops enlists trust, and the shops want to make use of extra space
- How businesses are reacting to the business model,
- Retail shops are losing business to platforms like Amazon, looking for additional revenue, users enter the store twice, expanding exposure to, and traffic in, the shop, and how $2/bag per hour can actually add up
- How AirBnB hosts react and handle advising guests on this service
- The goal of digital verification system, which for now collects basic info through social media sign up, then the host is notified, and zip ties are fastened on the luggage or items with custom numbers for extra security
- The fact that Knock Knock City hasn’t interacted with AirBnB Corporate yet, but is a supportive part of the community and on the list of AirBnB supportive services
- What is driving more demand — AirBnB? Shopping? Business travels?
- The kinds of shops most likely to partner, considerations of foot traffic, breakable items, available space
- Why dry cleaners might be great partners
- Looking at and learning from the patterns of users changing their storage plan as their travel and activity plans change
- Future-pacing third-party pickup and drop off services
- Makes use of existing unused space, how the use doesn’t take away from a marketing budget or interfere with operations
- Knock Knock City’s oal to grow into more cities, reach as many people as possible, why it is easy to grow into other cities, given the absence of high infrastructure costs since primarily it is signing people up digitally
- How empty space is shown available via the app, and managing location business hour limitations and any contingencies
- Packing styles, roll or fold?
- That time Sonmez was in Philadelphia, with trade show materials in huge suitcases, and needed to leave them unattended under the staircase at the AirBnB brownstone, and how this inspired a business
- The goal of helping people to do what they want to and go where they want to: moving freely