Some things about online buying versus in-person shopping are the same no matter what you’re buying. Sometimes, like with shoes, it really pays to try it out before you buy. Other times, you can know everything you need to know about a product from the spec sheet. For e-rideables, like any vehicle, deciding where you purchase may have a hand in determining how you purchase. The primary channels, like with so many things today, boil down to an online seller versus a traditional seller.
On the plus side, buying at an online store gives you the cherished opportunity to buy your new vehicle from the comfort of your own pajamas. Another check in the plus column is that websites remember your buyer information and your preferences. An online purchase also affords you the opportunity to see all the options available. Every model, option and price point are available online. A brick and mortar store has only the options they had the foresight to stock. There’s one more aspect of online shopping that puts it ahead of the traditional store: price competition. Your local store price compares against other local stores. Online stores compete nationally, or with the entire world.
An electric vehicle is not the same as a pair of shoes, but still, it should fit.
On the other hand, brick and mortar stores have advantages as well. In the case of e-rideables, for example, a physical store offers the opportunity to test ride vehicles. One of the best things about a local store is the chance to meet other members of the community. People often do a lot of browsing or window shopping before buying a vehicle. An electric vehicle is not the same as a pair of shoes, but still, it should fit. If it doesn’t fit, a brick and mortar store can usually receive returns without the added expense of shipping.
Buyers have different preferences, so companies that are buyer-oriented make their products available online and at major retail chains around the country. Our two big categories can break down further. For example, some major retailers now have a significant online presence (e.g., Walmart, Target, Best Buy). Breaking down the online market yields two categories: online retailers that maintain their own website and ecommerce platform, and online retailers that rely completely on major online retailers, like Amazon. Successful manufacturers often blend all these channels for an “across the board” approach that sells through every channel they can find.
Once you’ve figured out where to buy your electric bike or e-scooter, check out our set of questions to ask: