The issue of people coming into a mobility shop to try out its products before heading online to buy at a discounted price is a pet peeve for the majority of bricks-and-mortar dealers.
But dealers should take it upon themselves to combat the frustration rather than simply letting the would-be customer walk away.
That’s the belief of ScootaMart’s managing director, Spencer Coe, who like most mobility retailers, is all too familiar with the annoyance of a customer trying out products in-store before heading online, only to be left high and dry by a seller that is not able to offer aftersales back-up.
He said that people who buy a mobility scooter online usually only do it once.
“They get the rough treatment and never do it again but they still expect the same price from their local dealer. I wish they would stop doing it.
“They come into your shop and have a look at the product and then go online. We seem to combat it in the shops because we’ll front the customer on it.
“You’ve got to be honest with your customers when they’re in the shop. Don’t let them walk out and then complain once they’ve left – just ask them. Be open and honest.
“They might say the internet is far cheaper but you can at least explain what extra they’re getting by buying in-store for £100 more.
“Don’t just watch them walk. If you explain that, every time they’ll choose you. It’s just a simple case of fronting the customer about it.”
Mobility dealers across the board know that customers these days are savvier and often research products and prices on the internet before coming into a shop.
According to ONS, recent internet use in the 65 to 74 age group increased from 52% in 2011 to 80% in 2018.